This week’s commitment by the government on a deal for the IBRC promissory note must be more than an accounting trick and needs to deliver real benefits for ordinary citizens reeling from the effects of a deeply unfair budget, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.

Deputy McGrath was responding to comments from Minister Michael Noonan that a deal on the promissory note is ‘likely’ before the end of March deadline.

Deputy McGrath stated: “The so called deal at the 24th hour last year was little more than an accounting trick. The IBRC received the €3.1 billion through a complex arrangement involving NAMA and Bank of Ireland and the government elevated the debt to sovereign bond status.

“The deal that Minister Noonan now says is likely must address the substance of the issue and provide for an overall resolution of what remains to be paid under the promissory note. The bottom line is that Ireland should not have to pay this money and the ECB should be told this in no uncertain terms.

“The mixed signals from government ministers and the Taoiseach in recent days have made our negotiating strategy look incoherent. Fianna Fáil wants to see the government secure a comprehensive deal on the promissory note which recognises the inherent unfairness of the burden having to be paid by Irish people.

“The real test of any deal will be whether or not it makes any difference to the lives of ordinary citizens who are going to bear the brunt of a deeply unfair and regressive budget from this government.”