Time now for a real debate on AIB – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said it is time for a real debate on the future of AIB following the passing of a Dáil motion that prevents the sale of the bank until the fiscal rules have been changed.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The passing of the motion is bizarre and seems to be a result of distraction about the leadership race meaning Fine Gael forgot to call a vote. It is also bizarre that the Labour motion seeks changes to the very rules they championed.
“The important thing is that the motion passed and that now we have space to start a real debate about the future of AIB.
“Nobody has bothered to even present a case as to why AIB should be sold. It is after all now paying hundreds of million in dividends to the Irish people every year. Thanks to growth and a technical adjustment, there is no longer the immediate pressure to reduce our debt ratio.
“The Minister for Finance confirmed to me that a sale, even if it received full face value, which it would not, of 25% of AIB would reduce our debt ratio by only 1%; a drop in the ocean so this is not about reducing our debt.
“I have heard no convincing argument that selling AIB makes any sense regardless of what one would do with the proceeds.
“Today’s motion means the sales process should be stopped in its tracks. The Dáil vote, however it was arrived at, must be respected.”