Irish Republican News · October 16, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Warning over coalition’s plans

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has accused the Green Party of having “signed up for savage cuts in public spending, NAMA and more attacks on working people and disadvantaged citizens” after it agreed a new programme for government with Fianna Fail.

Mr Adams made the statement after a special meeting of the Green Party membership agreed to continue iits role as the minor partner in the Dublin coalition government in the face of overewhelming public opposition.

“While the new Programme for Government avoids making any comment about the cuts that it will implement it states that its approach to the public finances will include taking into account the findings of the McCarthy report - this means severe and far reaching cuts to public services and social protections,” said Mr Adams.

“Many people will be particularly angry that the new programme does not contain a commitment to maintain current social welfare rates and reinstate the Christmas Social Welfare Bonus. Why did the Greens seek no assurance on this key issue?”

Meanwhile, the Nama plan to provide a 54 billion Euro bail out to Irish banks and developers passed its first stage in the Dublin parliament.

The opposition is to seek over a hundred amendments to the bill, it has emerged.

A draft business plan for Nama published by the government claims it will give a return to the taxpayer of almost five billion Euro in 2020. The claim was dismissed by economists and ridiculed by the opposition.

“This plan has made massive assumptions in order to deliver a projection that Nama will make a profit, said Fine Gael finance spokesman Richard Bruton.

“The taxpayer is entitled to know whether these assumptions are robust enough to justify a 54,000 million Euro investment by the taxpayer, and the huge sacrifice in other service delivery needs that this will involve.

The plan assumes that 80 per cent of developers will pay up on their loans in full.

“We know that the courts threw out calculations by one prominent developer to support his claims that he could make full repayment. We know too that 36 per cent of the assets being acquired are undeveloped land whose value has collapsed by up to 75 per cent,” said Mr Bruton.

Mr Bruton also raised the expectation that the loss provision for default on the loan book in the hands of Nama will be just O1 billion per year, “whereas in the past 12 months alone, the banks have made a loss provision of O7.3 billion on this same loan book”.

“What is the basis for the Government’s optimism that the day of big loss provisions is now over? What magic does it believe Nama can work on this loan book that has eluded the banks? More fundamentally, why would we bother taking the loan book off the banks at all, if the prospects of losses are so modest?

Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan said the Nama business plan was “useless”.

“A business plan for Nama from the same Government that year after year failed to predict the economic crisis that was coming, and in fact stoked it, is useless.

“They are heading towards further economic melt-down, again because of construction and the banks, only this time the instrument they are using is Nama.”

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© 2009 Irish Republican News