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Government decision to sell off state assets off the wall

17 January, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Following a meeting with the Troika Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has described the Government’s decision to sell off State assets as off the wall.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Fine Gael and Labour have led us all to believe that the government’s plan to sell off state assets is of the Troika’s making, but this is not the case. Troika officials have confirmed that whilst they believe the government should consider a programme of privatisation the agreement does not bind Labour and Fine Gael to this course of action.

“Both government parties have been peddling the line for months now that the Troika is pushing for the selloff of State assets to the tune of €5 billion, a claim the Troika deny. It’s time now for Fine Gael and Labour to come out and take the rap for their own policy decisions as outlined in their Programme for Government.

“Labour and Fine Gael’s decision to sell off strategic State assets such as the ESB, Bord Gáis, Dublin Port and Coillte is off the wall. Port facilities are vital for facilitating and promoting a country’s external trade and represent significant accumulated capital investments. Our ports are valuable assets, particularly as we are a small open economy. How would it ever make sense for government to privatise the trade routes used by the State to access export markets?

“Bord Gáis and the ESB are successful self-financing companies that have not only delivered first world energy infrastructure across the island but contribute billions year on year to the economy in dividends, taxation, investment and job creation.

“It is clear Labour and Fine Gael are considering selling off Coillte’s harvesting rights as proposed by the McCarthy Report on State Assets published last year. It is beyond short sighted that a Government would consider selling off the harvesting rights to what in effect are our forest parks allowing a private company buy up the asset, take down our trees and leave our land barren.” ENDS

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