Fahey calls for State to invest in Irish banks


GALWAY WEST Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey has suggested that the Government invest in the banks. Irish banks were now at a disadvantage when compared to British and continental European banks. “I advocate that our Government should consider these issues. There is no risk involved in that the money will be repaid.”

Pat Rabbitte (Labour, Dublin South West) asked why the Government was opposed to taking an equity stake that would likely reward the taxpayer in the future.

“In today’s global conditions, would it not be justified for the National Pensions Reserve Fund, for example, to invest in our lead banks for an equity stake or other beneficial arrangement?”

Olivia Mitchell (FG, Dublin South) said the Government’s guarantee had done no more than buy time. “We must look now to a future strategy.”

Cyprian Brady (FF, Dublin Central) said: “The strict terms and conditions that have been imposed on the operation of the scheme are crucial. The Minister has repeatedly pointed out that the public interest is paramount.”

Michael Noonan (FG, Limerick East) said the suggestion that the National Pensions Reserve Fund be utilised would have to be very carefully considered by the Minister.

“First, he would be forcing it to go liquid on certain assets when the market is at the bottom. In addition, the purpose of the fund is to underpin certain pensions which the State will have to pay in the future.”