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Rainy day fund is solely to recapitalise the banks – Kenny

1 February, 2019 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, North Roscommon and South Donegal Martin Kenny has said that the government’s plans for a “rainy day fund” is nothing more than a contingency reserve fund with the explicit purpose of recapitalising the banks again if they need it.

Teachta Kenny was speaking during a debate on the National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Bill 2018 and said:

“The bailing out of the banks bankrupted the country.  In the context of this Bill, we are saying that we are going make sure that does not happen again, that we will not bankrupt the country and that we will have saved up to bail out the banks the next time they go down. 

“What will that do?  It will create a situation where the financial services sector will become as reckless as it was in the past because it will know it will have that buffer in place, and that the government will bail it out with taxpayers' money.  I do not believe that is right, and neither would any logical, thinking person.

“Tonight is a very cold one, although not a rainy one.  It is very harsh for the many people who are homeless and who have no place to stay.  Efforts need to be made and funds need to be put in place to provide homes and a secure future for those people.

“We have major problems in our health service, particularly in our health infrastructure.  Apart from the situation with the nurses, I would point to the physical buildings we need to put in place, including a Cath lab in Sligo as well as the various services needed around the country. 

“We are abandoning all those projects and are saying they not are important and that what is important is to save up to ensure that if the banks get into trouble in a few years' time, we have money to bail them out.  That is a terrible message to send the public, namely, that we are prepared to do this at this point in time.

“According to EU rules, this fund cannot be used to increase general spending in health, education or jobs during a downturn, nor can it be used to protect the economy from any Brexit fallout or to mitigate climate change.

“The fund is not a rainy day fund, but a contingency reserve fund with the explicit purpose of recapitalising the banks.” 

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