Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath TD, has reacted to today’s announcement by Eurozone Finance Ministers that there will be a 7-year extension of loans from the EFSF to Ireland.
Deputy McGrath commented: “Today’s announcement was expected based on a similar deal that Greece received recently. While we acknowledge the announcement, many unresolved questions still remain. The biggest issue is whether money from the ESM will be used to capitalise the pillar banks in Ireland. This would represent a substantial development and make a discernible difference to the Irish people. Today’s agreement, if concluded, will not change the reality of property tax, cuts to child benefit and respite care.
“Also, what impact will the recent announcement on the Promissory Note and today’s agreement have on next October’s budget? These are the real questions the Government must answer before any real change is delivered.
“Consideration also needs to be given to the substantial profits that the ECB is sitting on in respect of its holdings of Irish Government bonds. In the case of Greece the ECB committed to repatriating these profits to the country and we should make a similar case now.
“A real game changer would be a deal that frees up resources for investment in job supporting initiatives. To date that has not been forthcoming and the Government needs to urgently press the case for it.”