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Government approach to promissory note “deeply disappointing” – Doherty

22 February, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking during an exchange with Minister of State Brian Hayes on the issue of the on-going promissory note negotiations the Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty described the Government approach to the negotiations with the Troika as “deeply disappointing”.

Deputy Doherty called on the Government to “face up to the main issue of reducing the capital payment involved in the promissory note”.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Today I asked the Minister for State to provide an update on the on-going negotiations with the Troika on the issue of the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note. I specifically asked him to indicate whether a write down of the capital payment on the note, totalling €30 billion was being discussed in the talks or whether a full deferment of the capital payment was being sought by the Government.

“The Minister made it clear that the only conversation the Government was having with the Troika was on the issue of the €17 billion interest payment to Anglo and the length of the payment schedule of the promissory note, currently due to extend to 2031.

“It is deeply disappointing that the Government has not even put the issue of the principle payment on the table. That they are not even willing to raise the issue of why the taxpayer should continue to pay this toxic private banking debt is truly remarkable.

“Only two weeks ago three of the country’s leading academic experts, Professor Karl Whelan, Professor Brian Lucy and Dr Stephen Kinsella told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that the best option in the negotiations was to have the debt written down in full or deferred for a prolonged period of time. They outlined a very reasonable and credible case for pursuing either of these outcomes and urged the Government to pursue these options over and above the issue of interest rates or maturities.

“There is simply no justification for the Government to waste €3.1 billion of taxpayers money this year and every year until the promissory note is paid in full and it is time for the Government to face up to the main issue of reducing the capital payment involved in the Promissory Note”.

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