Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has described his party’s historic position of wanting to impose losses on senior bondholders following the banking collapse as the correct and legitimate approach, which has been borne out by evidence given to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Back in March 2011 the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) told the Government that €9 billion of Irish taxpayer’s money would be saved by imposing financial losses on senior debt holders at Irish banks.
“Inexplicably the Government in its wisdom, or in what many would describe as arrogance, ignored this important advice and decided to heap this private debt onto the shoulders of Irish taxpayers.
“Written evidence to the banking inquiry shows that the NTMA advised the Government that this should be done but for some bizarre reason the advice was ignored.
“The burn the bond holder’s position taken by the NTMA, mirrors what Sinn Féin, and a handful of others, were arguing for during that crucial time.
“We believed that those who created the crisis, including those who created the debt, should shoulder the burden of that financial loss.
“Government spokespersons smiled and peddled their lies on TV, radio and in the print media saying that it couldn’t be done, that it would destroy Irelands reputation, rubbishing the proposal, and calling us ‘economic illiterates’.
“It’s clear now who the economic illiterates were.
“The Government and their elite advisors decided that the debt of a few wealthy individuals should be transferred and paid by the income of hard press Irish taxpayers.
“The banking Inquiry may not have the delivered much in terms of agreement but at least some people will now realise that there were choices, and that the Government put the interests of the banks and speculators before the interests of ordinary tax paying workers.”