10 September 2009 Edition

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NAMA highlights need for all-Ireland planning

Gerry Kelly

Gerry Kelly

AS Finance Ministers Sammy Wilson and Brian Lenihan met on Wednesday to discuss the implications of Dublin’s NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) finance legislation, Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said the meeting highlights the fact that the DUP can no longer ignore the reality of an all-Ireland economy.
Gerry Kelly said that NAMA will see the Irish Government taking on up to €70 billion of toxic assets accrued by the banking sector but is incapable of meeting the twin objectives of achieving the best value for citizens or reducing risk.
The impact of NAMA will be felt across Ireland, the north Belfast MLA said, including the North.
“Anywhere between €15 billion to €20 billion of toxic assets could be in the North. If NAMA were established, how it would acquire and manage these assets could have a detrimental impact on the economy, North and South.”
He said that, at the last plenary of the North/South Ministerial Council, NAMA and the serious impact that the Irish Government’s proposals could have on the economy of the island were placed firmly on the agenda by Sinn Féin.
 “As such we have strongly pressed for this meeting between the two finance ministers, Sammy Wilson and Brian Lenihan.
“The reality of the situation is that the DUP can no longer ignore the need for an all-Ireland economic approach to deal with the economic downturn.
“Neither the North’s nor the South’s economy can be held in perfect isolation.
“We need to see the development of a single all-Ireland economic plan, including an all-Ireland recovery plan, one that promotes economic growth, lifts people out of poverty, creates employment, and delivers housing and quality public services for all.
“The question remains: can the DUP embrace this reality and rise to the challenge with the rest of us across Ireland?”

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