"We need a public banking system that will incorporate the Credit Unions, Post Offices and Promotional banks " - Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for a system where Ireland has a joined up approach to finance to ensure SMEs are supported and local economies are developed.
Speaking during the European Parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg, Ní Riada said,
"Two weeks ago I initiated a public hearing on the role of National Promotional banks for the benefit of our SME's during a meeting of the Budget committee within the European Parliament.
"The aim for me is to create and facilitate an Irish public banking system. We only currently have 2 and a half pillar banks in Ireland which are of course commercial banks.
"Credit Union branches across Ireland are being hamstrung and limited in their capacity for lending to SME's. A public banking pillar in Ireland would aid economic growth and stability and ensure a more balanced and sustainable economic development. It would allow for greater access to finance for the SME and community enterprise sectors.
"Any entrepreneur will tell you that accessing credit or securing finance for business development is difficult in the current climate. An inability to access credit especially for SME's outside of the great Dublin area is holding back economic growth and job creation particularly in rural Ireland.
"A public banking system would ensure that capital created in a given region would be used there to aid local economic development instead of being syphoned out of the local economy for investment elsewhere.
A Member of the European Committee on Budgets, Ní Riada added,
"We need to incorporate a system where we have a joined up approach to finance. We need to bring about a cohesive approach with a public banking system that will incorporate the Credit Unions, Post Offices and Promotional banks, particularly when it comes to accessing finance from the EU through the Junker Investment plan.
"The Junker Investment Plan, or FC as it is also called, seeks to provide finance as a kick-start for economic growth within the EU. A forum of this joined up collective approach would be extremely beneficial and practical in terms of accessing other EU funding financial instruments which are aimed at SME's and generating employment.
"In my role as an MEP and as a co-ordinator on the Budget committee, I will continue to seek a public banking system in Ireland, together with the Public Banking Forum of Ireland and other Sinn Féin representatives at local, National and European level." ENDS