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Finance Minister doing a bum job – Morgan

24 July, 2009

Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has this morning slammed both the government and Permanent TSB for the lenders intention to hike up its interest rate on Monday noting, “did Finance Minister Brian Lenihan know about this decision and if not what exactly is the point of having government appointees on the boards of banks covered by the bank guarantee?”

The Louth TD said:

“It is shocking that at a time recession and when an unprecedented amount of public monies is securing the day to day operations of Ireland’s financial institutions that any lender would deem it appropriate at this time to increase interest rates. There can be no doubt that other lenders are now waiting in the wings to see if Permanent TSB get away with the hike and they too will no doubt follow suit. The government simply cannot allow this money to be taken out of the general economy and into the coffers of the Permanent TSBs profits.

“Sinn Féin supports SIPTU President Jack O’Connor’s call for the banks that increase interest rates on mortgages to be withdrawn from the Government's bank guarantee scheme.

“Serious questions need to be asked of Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. Firstly did he know of the lenders intention to raise its interest rates? If not then what exactly is the benefit of having government watchdogs Ray McSharry and Margaret Hayes on the board of Permanent TSB? And if Brian Lenihan did know about the increase then he needs to reconsider his position as Minister for Finance. His responsibility is to the people of this state, not to the profiteering of bankers. It appears Fianna Fáil’s cosy relationship with Ireland’s financial institutions remains intact.” ENDS

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