Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson Dara Calleary has welcomed news that Minister John Perry has concluded a restructuring deal with his bank, but said that the Minister needs to come forward with more detail and still needs to answer a number of outstanding questions.
Deputy Calleary commented, “When this issue first emerged into public, Fianna Fáil made it clear that we would be giving the Minster space to settle his personal affairs. I welcome the fact that this has been achieved. However, the current stance of the Minister and his colleagues, that it is a personal matter and that he will not be providing any further detail, is not good enough.
“There remains a number of questions that Minister Perry needs to answer to the public. Our preference would be for the Minister to come forward now with a full statement. If he fails to do this, we will be pressing for a statement before the Dáil when it reconvenes.
“The first of these is how the Minister managed the conflicts of interest that arose at a time when he was seeking further funding from the banks while at the same time being responsible for holding the same banks to account for lending to small businesses.
“The second question is what interaction he has had with the Revenue Commissioners on this issue.
“Another obvious issue is the broad terms of his most recent settlement. I do not believe it is feasible for the Minister for Small Businesses to remain silent on a secret deal with Danske Bank at a time when small businesses across the country are struggling to maintain even their current overdraft facilities.
“The Minister is entitled to manage his private business affairs, but equally the public have the right to be reassured that he is not abusing his position as he does so. They are entitled to evidence that a Government minister is not being given preferential treatment by virtue of his position.”