Boyle calls for changes to Nama

 

Green Party finance spokesman Senator Dan Boyle has called for the inclusion of a “social dividend” in the proposed National Assets Management Agency (Nama).

His comments come after 13 per cent of attendees at a Green Party conference over the weekend expressed support the legislation in its current form.

“We want to see a social dividend. That was very much a strong feeling that came from the meeting on Saturday, that the State has an ability to acquire assets and properties and the benefits shouldn’t be seen to be going entirely to bank shareholders, shouldn’t be seen to be helping developers who helped bring about this situation,” Mr Boyle told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

He said land that had been inappropriately zoned could be used for “recreation and developing social infrastructure”.

“That is the type of further development we would like to see in the Nama Bill, or in parallel legislation.”

Mr Boyle added that his party will propose “as many changes as possible” to Nama as it passes through the Oireachtas.

Tonight, the Green Party released a statement regarding the results of its "preferendum" held in Athlone on Saturday on the proposed legislation establishing Nama.

A number of options, compiled by three members representing different views in the party, were put to those members present.

The party said the reports concluding members were heavily "for" or "against" certain options were "misleading". However, the statement said that a "ranking of preferences" showed the option of the Nama legislation amended to include Green Party modifications was most popular.

Members were asked to rank the options by preference, and each preference is given a number of points. The number of points varies according to the number of preferences expressed on the ballot paper

The results registered were:

* Nama with Green Party suggested modifications: 657 points.

* Scheme based on Sweden in the early 1990s: 563 points

* Let the market totally decide banks' fate: 411 points

* Original Nama proposal: 387 points

* Totally nationalise the banks: 383 points

* Create a good bank: 369 points

The party said its TDs and senators would use the results of the poll to "inform its engagements" with the Minister for Finance while the Nama Bill is "further modified" by the Oireachtas.

This vote is likely to place further pressure on Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, who is to announce the valuation he will place on bad loans in the Dáil on Wednesday.

The attendance at the special policy-making convention on Nama and the renegotiated programme for government on October 10th would have an attendance three or four times greater than last Saturday’s consultative session. However, the vote is still likely to cause concern among the party’s coalition partners.

Pressure will increase on the Green Party leadership to win further concessions and on Fianna Fáil to agree to them.

Green Party sources said there was “a very intense debate” about the valuation announcement to be made by Mr Lenihan.

The format of the special convention on October 10th, which will be crucial for the future of the Government, remains unclear and is likely to be strongly influenced by negotiations on the programme for government.