Sinn Féin opposes extension of Bank Guarantee Scheme – Doherty
Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has tonight opposed the extension of the bank guarantee scheme.
Speaking in the Seanad Senator Doherty said that the Government needs to get the message – their policy of bank bailouts and cow-towing to the wealthy elite has failed. With almost half a million people unemployed they need to start bailing out the people and not the banks.
Senator Doherty said:
“Two years ago today the Government put in place the Bank Guarantee Scheme. It was introduced by a government who knew the true extent of the problem but who deliberately misled TDs. This was followed up by the terms and conditions of the scheme which Sinn Féin vehemently opposed.
“The Government’s actions over that period two years ago have led to billions of euros worth of debt which will not just rest on the heads of this generation, but will be a millstone around the necks of many generations to come.
“Brian Lenihan famously said during his deliverance of last year’s budget that 'the worst is over'. I would warrant that Brian Lenihan is very much eating his words as today’s live register figures have shown that there are still almost half a million people who are out of work. The state is haemorrhaging jobs left right and centre. Emigration is the only way out for many. Far from addressing these problems the Government tonight want us to yet again sign up to bailing out the banks.
“There are simple steps that should be taken immediately with regard to the banks.
· First of all the guarantee scheme should be scrapped.
· Create a state bank by nationalising AIB and Bank of Ireland.
· Nationalise the positive assets, including the deposits and performing loans, of AIB and Bank of Ireland and transfer into a new State Bank;
· Allow the remaining assets of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Irish Nationwide to be divided up between the bondholders of those institutions;
· Default on repayments to senior and subordinated bondholders of Anglo Irish;
· Guarantee all deposits in the State bank.
“This Government told us that to get credit flowing we need to bail out the banks. They told us that to address the deficit we need to cut public spending. They have been proved wrong and now the people are paying the price.
“The Government needs to get the message – their policy of bank bailouts and cow-towing to the wealthy elite has failed. With almost half a million people unemployed they need to start bailing out the people and not the banks.
“Fianna Fáil have not learned their lesson after two years. It’s clear that they are not going to learn their lesson. In order to get this country back on track they should be booted out of office. They have no mandate for their bailouts or their cuts. They should call a general election now.” ENDS