The government must ensure that all the proceeds raised from its proposal to sell-off state assets are retained for re-investment in the domestic economy, support for businesses and job creation initiatives, Fianna Fáil Public Expenditure Spokesman Seán Fleming has said.

“The government’s position on the sale of state assets is merely a half-measure, 100% of any proceeds from the sale of any assets must be retained for investment to help the domestic economy.  The economy is strained at the moment, businesses need support and we badly need job creation measures to tackle the unemployment crisis,” said Deputy Fleming.

“It was this government that signed up to profits from the sale of state assets being used to reduce sovereign debt.  The government is trying to paint itself as achieving a major concession from the EU/IMF, moving from a third to 50% of profits being retained for investment, when it was Fine Gael and Labour that painted themselves into a corner on the issue in the first place.  We have always maintained that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of any state assets must be used to help create jobs and I welcome the fact that the government is trying to move in this direction.

“How, when and what assets Minister Brendan Howlin proposes to sell will be extremely important.  We will judge these issues on a case-by-case basis.  The critical issue is how the proceeds of the sale of any state assets would be used.  The government cannot bring forward proposals for asset disposal until it is in a position to ensure that 100% of the proceeds will be used for re-investment and to help create jobs.”