Monday, February 27, 2012

Howlin's sell off is sell out - Kelly

Wexford Sinn Féin has criticised Minister Brendan Howlin's decision to sell off vital state assets. Cllr Anthony Kelly said the sell off was economic madness and a disastrous deal for the people of this country. Going a step further, the Wexford Borough Councillor described the sale of state assets as a total sell out by Minister Howlin and his Labour party colleagues.

“This sell off is a sell out,” Cllr Kelly said, “Dissecting successful state companies and selling parts of them is economic madness and the exact opposite of what Minister Brendan Howlin and his Labour party pledged to do in government before last year’s election. Companies like Bord Gais and the ESB are pillars of our economy and have provided jobs and security for thousands of Irish families for decades. The states remaining 25% stake in Aer Lingus is being auctioned off at a fraction of its worth. Worst still Coillte is to have its harvesting rights sold off to a private company which will take our trees and leave behind barren earth.”
“Minister Howlin would have you believe that the government has no choice and that the Troika is calling the shots on this. This is not true. Privatisation of state assets is not required under the EU/IMF deal. The discussion of the sale of state assets in the Memorandum takes place in the section regarding obstacles to competitiveness, not in the fiscal section as the Government would like us to believe. To blame the Troika for this is deliberately misleading.”

“Another claim is that the government will use money from the sale of state assets to fund a job creation programme. If this Government was serious about job creation and reinvestment in the economy it would not be paying out tens of billions to unsecured Anglo bondholders. If this Government was serious about job creation they would pursue funding from the European Investment Bank. They could use the remaining money from the National Pension Reserve Fund to invest in health infrastructure, home retrofitting and a capital investment stimulus programme. These measures would deliver employment and crucially jump start our economy. If this government was serious about job creation that’s what they would be doing instead of selling off our nation’s assets and future.”

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