Friday 21 July 2017

Nama meets Commission to combat 'State aid' contentions

Developer Michael O’Flynn lodged his complaint
Developer Michael O’Flynn lodged his complaint
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

NAMA officials have recently travelled to Brussels to make representations to the European Commission ahead of a key ruling on whether the agency's plans to build 20,000 homes contravenes State aid rules.

Intensive engagement by the asset loans agency, including face-to-face meetings with the Commission's competition arm, follows a similar move by developer Michael O'Flynn.

O'Flynn is one of the so-called 'Group of Five' who have complained that Nama is distorting competition in the home-building and commercial sector.

The 'Group of Five' - New Generation Homes, MKN Properties, David Daly, Paddy McKillen and O'Flynn - lodged their complaint late last year following Minister for Finance Michael Noonan's announcement in his Budget speech that Nama would fund the building of some 20,000 homes in Ireland.

The men have argued that when the State received European Union approval in 2009 to establish Nama, it was intended to repair the bank's balance sheets - and that the Government has gone beyond what was agreed with Brussels by allowing Nama to fund housebuilding, to the detriment of private sector operators.

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