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Pushing debt down the road is no victory for the government – Doherty

29 March, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Responding to the announcement about the promissory notes today, Sinn Fein TD and Finance Spokeperson, Pearse Doherty said that the government could not claim pushing the Anglo debt down the road as a victory. He said the fact that there was any movement on the promissory notes was due to pressure applied to the government by Sinn Fein and others, but that the government should have gotten a write-down of this debt.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The fact that there is any movement on the promissory notes is a result of the consistent pressure Sinn Fein and others have applied to this government over the last year. Left to their own devices, the government would have been happy to continue with the arrangement with Anglo as it had been set.
“We know that there will be a transfer of €3.1bn of taxpayers’ money to Anglo. We also know that the deal involves Anglo using that money to purchase a long term Irish Government bond. This will not have a real or noticeably positive impact on the government’s budgetary position in 2012, as confirmed by the Governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honahan at a Dáil committee this week. There will be no real benefit to ordinary citizens suffering under the weight of austerity because of this deal.
“This deal takes an unjust banking debt which we should not be paying and turns it into a sovereign debt which we will pay at a later date. The key here is that we will pay it. There is no write down and this is not a victory.
“The failure and refusal of the government to even ask for a debt write-down always meant that this deal would be disappointing. The Minister for Finance’s intervention in the Dáil, raising expectations of a significant deal, will make this disappointment all the worse. People struggling with the continuing policy of austerity will look at this announcement today and wonder what exactly the government thinks is so positive about agreeing to pay a debt, that should not exist at all, at a later stage. It does nothing for their lives and it just adds to their children’s already massive debt.”

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