Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has called on the Taoiseach to explain why the Westport House loan book was removed from the Project Arrow portfolio. According to reports, the loans were pulled in recent days and will now be bought in a State backed deal.
Deputy McGrath commented, “I am extremely concerned about the manner in which this deal was conducted. The fact that the Taoiseach used his influence to remove the Westport loans from the deal is all the more incredulous given the fact that both he and Michael Noonan had previously stated that any political interference in NAMA sales would not be tolerated. As recently as last Tuesday, during Fianna Fáil’s Private Members debate on Project Eagle, the Finance Minister made reference to the independence of NAMA’s sales process.
“The fact that the Taoiseach saw fit to intervene in this particular case, when he failed to do anything to protect the thousands of other people who have seen their loans and mortgages sold off to vulture funds exposes this deal for what it is – blatant parish pump politics and electioneering. The entire Project Arrow portfolio is worth €6.25bn. Westport House may have been removed from the deal at the expense of the taxpayer, but there are hundreds of other smaller debtors who are effectively being thrown to the wolves.
“The decision to selectively remove Westport House from the portfolio is a vain attempt to make political gains while failing to address the wider problem”.