Fianna Fáil TD for Laois and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Seán Fleming has called for a full, public, open and transparent debate on the use of the projected NAMA surplus of over €3billion.
Deputy Fleming has accused the Government of failing to plan for the best use of these funds, which will become available by 2020 at the latest.
“I raised this matter with the Department of Finance at a recent Public Accounts Committee meeting, and they confirmed that NAMA as an agency is unique in the European context. Accordingly, there are no specific European or Eurostat rules as to how these surplus funds can be utilised. Therefore it will be up to the Irish Government to decide on the best use of these funds. This has also been confirmed by the Finance Minister”, said Deputy Fleming.
“The Government needs to set out the options available, including; a reduction of the national debt, a contribution to the rainy day fund, housing and/or other infrastructure purposes; or a combination of these options.
“I am concerned that this Government may make a covert decision to use the entire surplus to reduce the national debt. This is only one option and I believe that a full and broad debate on the issue is needed.
“Subsequent to the PAC meeting, I submitted two questions to the Finance Minister in relation to this matter; however, he failed to give any clear response in relation to the use of this surplus.
“Advanced planning is necessary in order to ensure the best utilisation of these funds. It is essential that the Government engages in an open and transparent debate before any decisions are taken”.