4 March 2010 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please

NAMA secrecy

The 2009 NAMA Bill obliges the agency to present an annual report to the Houses of the Oireachtas each year. Sinn Féin opposed everything about NAMA but attempted to amend the legislation as much as possible as it went through various stages. One of our amendments concerned NAMA reporting on a monthly basis in the first year of its operation and quarterly thereafter.
NAMA comes into operation in the next couple of weeks and in the first few months it will buy over €17 billion worth of debts from the state’s top ten developers. €17 billion is almost a third of the total debts expected to be bought by the agency, but political parties in Leinster House will not be able to oversee how these debts are exchanged, what is paid for them and what they consist of until NAMA’s annual report, which might not be for 12 months time. It looks as though all of NAMA’s purchases could take place before the Houses of the Oireachtas ever sees what is going on within the body. Just another example of how murky, and potentially corrupt this whole situation is.


Pensions smokescreen

The coalition government’s approach to pensions is fundamentally flawed.
Over the course of 2009 the state paid out €3 billion in private pension tax reliefs. These tax reliefs mainly benefitted the rich. If the state had saved all the money that it has paid out in propping up the private pension industry, we would have a lot more ready to provide for today’s and future pensioners. Making pension contributions mandatory or raising the retirement age don’t address this vital point.

An Phoblacht
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