FF coalition served bankers at cost of ordinary people - Higgins

Socialist TD publishes minority report based on public hearings of banking inquiry

Socialist TD Joe Higgins at the publication of his minority report. He said the banking inquiry committee’s approach meant “many painful symptoms of a disease were examined in great detail - but not so the root cause and source of the infection”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Socialist TD Joe Higgins at the publication of his minority report. He said the banking inquiry committee’s approach meant “many painful symptoms of a disease were examined in great detail - but not so the root cause and source of the infection”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Socialist TD Joe Higgins has criticised the last Fianna Fáil-led government for serving the interests of bankers and developers at the expense of ordinary people.

Mr Higgins has published a minority report based on the public hearings of the banking inquiry.

He found Taoiseach Enda Kenny must also take responsibility for his role as a “silent non-opposition” during the economic crash.

Mr Higgins, who will not sign off on the final report by the committee, said the soft landing theory was a “big lie”.

The Socialist TD said the committee’s approach meant “many painful symptoms of a disease were examined in great detail - but not so the root cause and source of the infection”.

‘Same ideological pool’

He added: “The majority of the members of the Joint committee were not in the Oireachtas during the bubble, but they emanate from the same ideological pool and political parties that were - and therefore see no issue with the right granted to players in the markets to speculate and maximise profits to the limits of ‘what the market will bear’.”

Mr Higgins criticised the Oireachtas inquiries Act and insisted no other committee should conduct its work under this legislation.

He said those witnesses who were compelled to appear before the inquiry were shielded from the full force of what should have been a “rigorous and radical questioning”.

The Socialist TD said the inquiry’s own investigation team constantly monitored the line and tone of the questioning conducted by the members.

In his findings, Mr Higgins determines the banks had excessive influence over the then government.

He says overreliance on property-based taxes was a factor in the severity of the crash.