Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bondholder Handover Act of Treason – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has condemned the Fine Gael/Labour government’s decision to hand over €700 million to an unguaranteed bondholder of Anglo Irish Bank last Wednesday. The Sinn Fein rep. described the handover of taxpayers’ money during this intense recession as an act of treason. Speaking during a Sinn Féin protest against the handover outside Minister Brendan Howlin’s constituency office in Wexford town, Cllr Kelly said that the new government was continuing the failed cronyism policies of the last one despite promising fundamental change during the general election campaign.

“Fine Gael and Labour rightfully attacked the last Fianna Fail led government for implementing extreme austerity measures against the Irish people while protecting the very golden circle of bankers, investors and speculators whose greed had caused the Celtic Crash in the first place,” Cllr Kelly said. “They promised essential change in government but instead have enacted the same failed Fianna Fail policies. Paying out unguaranteed bondholders, who are basically super-rich gamblers who backed the wrong horse, can never be justified. Paying them during the worst recession modern Ireland has ever known is an act of treason against the long suffering Irish people.”

“We live under a government which has cut the most vulnerable in society while carefully keeping an unmanageably corrupt system in place that always favours the wealthy elite at the expense of the majority. SNAs have been cut. Patients lie on hospital trolleys across the nation. Our students are being targeted with new fees and cuts to their grants. Household charges and a water tax are to be introduced and further cuts are on the way. Yet there appears to be money available to pay the debts of highflying gamblers. It seems the priorities of our coalition government are clear.”

“The government plans to take between €3.6 and €4 billion out of the budget. A €700 million saving would have meant no household charge. It could have meant no welfare cuts. Instead the government decided to give €700 million to an unguaranteed bondholder defying morality and basic reason. Even the smallest cut has the potential to inflict so much damage. The cut of 200 Special Needs Assistants this year caused untold damage for families with special children and saved the state only €6 million.”

“Sinn Féin completely opposes paying off any of these unguaranteed bondholders. We would urge the government, in particular the Labour party, to stop these handovers. In January a further 1.2 billion is due to be paid out. Labour in opposition always claimed to oppose the right of unsecured bondholders to any payout. I’m calling on Minister Brendan Howlin to use his influence at the cabinet table to stop the handover and to instead use this money for the good of the Irish people.”

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