Minister must end the begging bowl approach to interest rate - Doherty
Speaking during a debate in the Dáil today Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty called on the Government “to end the begging bowl approach on the issue of the EU loan interest rate” and “call a halt to EU profiteering from the economic crisis.”
Doherty called on the Minister to “change the terms of debate on the interest rate reduction being sought on the EU portion of the austerity programme.”
Deputy Doherty said:
“The Minister for Finance needs to change the terms of debate on the interest rate reduction being sought on the EU portion of the austerity programme
“Under the terms of the EU/IMF austerity programme the EU will charge 5.8% interest on up to €45 billion of loans over a period of 7.5 years. The 5.8% rate includes a 3% mark up on the cost of the borrowing to the EU.
“The cost of this mark-up to the Irish taxpayer will be in the region of €10 billion if the Government draws down the full €45 billion and repays it over the time period outlined in the programme.
“Put in plain English, this means that the EU will make €10 billion profit on the back of seven and a half years of economic crisis and austerity in Ireland.
“It is not acceptable for the EU to be benefitting financially from a loan extended to a partner state in economic difficulty.
“The Minister for Finance needs to stop politely begging for a 0.6% reduction in the interest rate on future draw down and deal with the real issue. The Government needs to call a halt to EU profiteering from the economic crisis in Ireland.”