Coalition opposed to Nama transfers


Fine Gael and Labour see no point in transferring further assets to the National Assets Management Agency (Nama), Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter said today.

Mr Shatter, one of the negotiators of the programme for government, said the parties were concerned about the manner in which Nama was working, a lack of transparency surrounding it and the impact it has had on the stabilisation and recovery of property market

“Both parties see no purpose in transferring further assets to Nama,” Mr Shatter said.

He said there were also concerns about the huge level of expense Nama was incurring, particularly in relation to professional services.

He told RTÉ’s News at One that Fine Gael and Labour were committed to an examination of how the agency was working and how it should function in the future.

Mr Shatter said both parties were opposed to Nama in the first place and that it was an element of the “appalling legacy” the parties were inheriting from “the most incompetent government in the history of the State”.

When questioned if not transferring further assets to Nama ran contrary to the EU/IMF bailout agreement, Mr Shatter said it was “no secret” that Fine Gael and Labour had reservations about the deal.

He said the programme for government made it absolutely clear Fine Gael and Labour wanted to sit down and talk to the EU and IMF.

Mr Shatter said measures designed to bring stability and confidence into the banking sector had not worked. “We’re still in a very bad place,” he said. “We still have huge difficulties and I think at this stage, even though this agreement was concluded recently, there is an absolute necessity to review its impact and the measures that have been put in place with regard to banking so far."

Mr Shatter said further funds would not be put into banks until the result of stress results were revealed later this month as this would give a clear picture of the level of home mortgage impairments.

He said neither Fine Gael or Labour was sure if there had been full transparency around the problem to date.

A spokeswoman for EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn said today the European Commission welcomes the incoming government’s "strong commitment" to the key economic policy goals and measures in the EU-IMF financial assistance programme.

 "We will obviously be studying the programme in closer detail and starting negotiations also with Ireland in this and other aspects," she said. “You should know that a first review of the EU-IMF assistance programme is preliminarily scheduled for the first half of April. So the discussions will be starting and ongoing."

Asked whether certain milestones within in the deal need to be reached before the terms - such as the interest rate - can be changed, she replied: “There is an informal euro area summit coming up where issues like these will be at the heart of the discussion”.