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3 September 2009 Edition

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ECONOMIC CRISIS: Nine reasons to say 'No to NAMA'

INHERENTLY FLAWED: Arthur Morgan called NAMA ‘the crime of the century’

INHERENTLY FLAWED: Arthur Morgan called NAMA ‘the crime of the century’

Morgan calls for referendum on NAMA 

THE Fianna Fáil/Green Government has been challenged by Sinn Féin to hold a people’s referendum on NAMA (the National Asset Management Agency, the state’s ‘bad bank’ set up to buy toxic loans) on the same day as the Lisbon Treaty re-run.
Describing NAMA as “the crime of the century”, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD also outlined the party’s ‘Nine Reasons to Say No to Nama’.
Arthur Morgan said Sinn Féin is launching a public action campaign as well as opposing the NAMA legislation in the Dáil because it feels the Government is relying on people not understanding the complex proposal to push it through. Morgan said:
“This proposal is so inherently flawed and potentially corruptible that I believe NAMA could be the subject of the next decade’s tribunals. This is the crime of the century. It is a government-led free for all for developers and banks.
“The Government is hoping people will not understand this complex legislation. If people really knew what this was all about, they would be sitting outside their local Fianna Fáil and Green Party TDs’ offices and demanding they don’t support the Bill.
“The cuts and tax raising measures to date have been severe but they are nothing compared to what will be needed to pay for NAMA.
“If the Government are determined to push NAMA through then they should put it to a referendum and give the people an opportunity to decide because the ramifications of NAMA will affect not just this generation but future generations of Irish people. A referendum should take place on the same day as the Lisbon referendum.”

Over the next few weeks, Sinn Féin will be distributing a leaflet outlining Sinn Féin’s opposition to NAMA and basic information on the proposal.
This month, Sinn Féin will be holding a day of action throughout the state to explain the problems with NAMA and launching its alternative solution for solving the banking crisis in advance of the Dáil returning.
Arthur Morgan added:
“We believe there are nine reasons to say No to NAMA and we are calling on people to join us in our campaign.”  

Nine reasons to say ‘No to NAMA’:  
1.    Economists have estimated NAMA will cost each man, woman and child in the state €15,000 (€60-€70 billion). That’s a lot of hospitals, schools, jobs and public infrastructure.  
2.     The Government has done nothing to help families and businesses facing repossession, negative equity and economic hardship, they still have to pay their bills, and it is raising taxes and cutting public spending to pay for the mess they, the banks and developers have made.  
3.     NAMA will pay more for developers’ loans than they are worth and let them pay them back at their leisure.  
4.     The Bill relies on banks to act in ‘good faith’ when giving the taxpayer information about the bad loans.  
5.     The loans these developers were given helped to drive up house prices, so we’re being made to pay twice.  
6.     NAMA will be able to give taxpayers’ money to developers to finish projects and even force a purchase on land in the way of developments.  
7.     The Minister for Finance (currently a Fianna Fáiler – the builders’ friends) will have the power to overturn ‘independent’ valuation of developers’ loans made by NAMA and pay them more.  
8.     There is no guarantee that the banks will start lending even after NAMA clears their bank sheets.  
9.     It will cost money to sort out the banks and the bad loans but nationalisation would allow us to deal with the developers, kick out the corrupt management, get banks lending again, protect homeowners and businesses, and entail the least pain for the taxpayer.


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