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Devil is in the detail of promissory note deal – McDonald

22 March, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, speaking during Leaders’ Question today in the Dáil, called on the Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore to drop the spin and rhetoric and to inform the people of the details of the deal to be agreed on the promissory notes.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Sinn Féin has been raising Anglo’s promissory note for more than a year calling for a write down of this odious debt. If a deal is agreed with the ECB today which results in a reduction of that debt Sinn Féin will be the first to welcome it.

“But before any of us pass judgement on the deal announced by the Finance Minister last night there are a number of questions that must be answered. Will this deal reduce the state’s liabilities to Anglo Irish Bank? Will the debt, heaped on the shoulders of the tax payer by Fianna Fáil in 2010, and honoured by your government to the tune of €3.1bn last year, be reduced?

“Will the deal announced by Minister Noonan last night have any impact on the states debt-to-GDP ratio, and in turn any impact on our ability to return to the bond markets next year?

“Will the deal have any impact on this year’s deficit, or the government’s plans to suck €3.8 billion from the economy in 2012 and a further €2.25 billion from the economy in 2013 in spending cuts and tax hikes?

“Critically, will the deal being discussed in Frankfurt today fundamentally alter the nature of this debt, transforming it from toxic banking debt to fully fledged sovereign debt – with all of the consequences that brings.

“The question people across this state are asking today is whether the government has secured a deal that reduces the state’s debt to Anglo Irish Bank and in doing so reduces our debt and deficit levels, or whether the government has simply kicked this odious debt down the road, to be paid in full by future generations and a future government?

“People want straight answers to these questions, with no spin and no rhetoric.

“Will the deal on the promissory note to be agreed today in Frankfurt make any difference at all to Fine Gael and Labour’s planned programme of cuts and tax hikes this year and to the financial hardship being experiences by millions of people across the state?” ENDS

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