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No case has been made for selling AIB – Doherty

9 May, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said no case has been made for the sale of AIB. He said the debate should be ‘why, not when’ AIB should be sold.

He added that those now seeking to amend the fiscal rules were among their biggest supporters when the rules were put to referendum.

Deputy Doherty said:

“No credible economic case has been made for the sale of AIB or any part of it. We are talking about selling off a very valuable strategic and financial asset, but why? Who benefits?

“We know the bankers are keen to sell off the bank so that the €500k salary cap can be dropped and we know the advisors, the likes of Goldman Sachs, are waiting to take their cut of any sale.

“Mr Michael Somers, former AIB Director and CEO of the NTMA, told the Banking Inquiry that any part sale of AIB would have to be at a discount, while maintaining ownership would allow dividends to be paid to the State year in, year out- dividends that can be spent on our hospitals and schools.

“Leaving aside the pure brass neck of Labour in attacking the fiscal rules they championed, their motion tonight completely misses the point that there has been no case presented as to why AIB should be sold. The debate should be ‘why, not when’. The fiscal rules hardwire austerity into the economic model; they require radical renegotiation, not just some tweaking.

“Sinn Féin want a proper debate about the role the State should play in the banking sector instead of rushing in to another grubby privatisation with no thought about the long-term consequences for the economy. We need to take a step back and weigh up the evidence, at the very least a full Oireachtas debate and vote on any sale needs to take place.” 

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