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Rainy Day Fund is nothing but an “€8 Billion Blank Cheque” for the banks, Sinn Féin will oppose it – Jonathan O’Brien TD

15 January, 2019 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Sinn Féin’s deputy spokesperson for Public Expenditure & Reform, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has called on the Government to drop its legislation for a Contingency Fund that will see as much as €8 billion of taxpayers’ money transferred to the banks.

Speaking today, the Cork North-Central TD said:

“This week will see the government bring its National Surplus Bill before the Dáil.

“This Bill is the much advertised Rainy Day Fund that has been sold by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil as an insurance policy to help the Irish economy in the event of a downturn or economic trouble in the future.

“Fine Gael sold it as prudent policy. Fianna Fáil sold it to improve their public image a decade after they led our economy over the cliff.

“A recent Freedom of Information Request confirmed our fears that this fund will not be used to protect jobs and public services in the event of a future downturn, will not be used to soften the impact of Brexit or to meet the challenges of climate change.

“The fund will most probably be used to bail out the banks in the event that they make the same mistakes of the past. This fact is spelled out in the Bill itself.

“Sinn Féin will not countenance any attempt to use up to €8 billion of taxpayers’ money to bail out the banks. As much as €2 billion will be transferred to the fund this year alone.

“In the midst of a housing emergency and with the challenges of Brexit and a changing trade environment, we should be future-proofing our economy through investment in housing and infrastructure.

“This fund was sold as a Rainy Day Fund to protect jobs in the future. That was far from the truth.

“Instead of writing a blank cheque to the banks with taxpayers’ money, the government should be working to solve the cost of living crisis and failure of our housing system.

“The priorities of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are all wrong.”

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