State urged not to issue 40-year bond for Anglo
FINE GAEL backbencher Peter Mathews warned against the Government issuing a 40-year bond to finance the bailout of Anglo Irish Bank.
The bond, as reported by The Irish Times, would replace the promissory note scheme through which the State pays off the bank’s debts.
The Dublin South TD, who raised the matter on the Order of Business, said the proposal would mean the Irish people taking on a debt they owed to nobody.
“Why should we re-engineer and lengthen a debt that is not properly presentable to the people of Ireland? It is wrong.”
He said that a 40-year bond at a lower interest rate would become an asset of a busted bank.
“We have to stop this nonsense and say we do not owe at least €70 billion to the ECB or the Central Bank because the origin of that money was the redemption of bonds that should not and could not be repaid from the resources of the banks in which they were invested.”
Thanking Mr Mathews for his intervention, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Department of Finance officials were focused on the discussions on getting the best deal for Ireland.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Mr Mathews had made a point about honest engagement and debate. “The bottom line is that there is no transparency in what is happening.”
Mr Martin said the reference to a 40-year bond was contained in a newspaper headline yesterday. However, the Taoiseach had insisted that he did not speculate on headlines, and would not say if it was true, false or indifferent.
“That is the problem in this House,” said Mr Martin.
Mr Kenny said the Government’s intention was to re-engineer and restructure the debt.
“It is a pity that Deputy Martin was not as forthright and strong when he went off to make the decision in the first place, which left us with the €3.1 billion for 10 years.”
Mr Martin said the Taoiseach had returned to “adversarial and partisan politics”.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said Mr Mathews had answered his question on the 40-year bond in a clear and concise way. The Taoiseach had just ignored it.