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Government accused of banana republic economics

28 February, 2012 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government Brian Stanley TD has this evening accused the government of “banana republic economics” by selling off wealth generating, profitable state assets.

Speaking in support of tonight's Sinn Féin Dáil motion opposing the sale of state assets Deputy Stanley said:

“We only have to look into the not too distant past to see history repeating itself. The sale of Eircom proved to be a disaster for both shareholders and the general public. Following four years of public investment, which saw this state become a leader in the tele-communications sector, Eircom was sold off amidst massive controversy. Now Ireland lags 5 years behind competitor countries in terms of tele-communication infrastructure.

“Earlier this month the government announced its intention to sell off  €3 billion worth of state assets. Ironically this is the same amount of money this government are committed to hand over to Anglo bondholders in March. The sale will take place despite the Labour Party's commitment in their general election manifesto not to sell off Coillte or the energy networks. So brazen a u-turn in Irish politics has not been seen in for many years.

“Sinn Féin is in good company tonight opposing the sale of ESB, Bord Gáis and Coillte. Both SIPTU and UNITE, the two biggest Irish unions, have both come out and publicly opposed the sale. These sate companies continue to provide training, employment and pay dividends to the Irish state. These three companies have paid a total of €1.97 billion to the state in dividends over the last ten years. These dividends will be no more if this fire-sale government has its way.

“Future generations will reap a sorry harvest if this coalition has its way. The sale of state assets is fundamentally and economically wrong and must be stopped at all costs.”

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