Lenihan to launch 'solidarity bond'
The Government will tonight ask the public for money to invest in infrastructure projects.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan will announce plans for a National Solidarity Bond next year for members of the public to help to stimulate the beleaguered economy and create jobs.
Such a bond has been mooted in various guises over the past year, including in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions' call for the establishment of a National Recovery Bond as far back as January of last year.
Mr Lenihan provided the necessary legal basis in this year's Finance Act.
He said last night the purpose of the bond is to "allow citizens an opportunity to invest and provide money to the State to stimulate economic recovery and to assist in the maintenance and creation of employment".
Brochures, application forms, terms and conditions and Frequently Asked Questions will be available on the internet and there will be a dedicated telephone line where additional information will be available.
After the May Bank Holiday weekend, starting next Tuesday, Mr Lenihan said the National Solidarity Bond will be available for subscription through the network of 1,200 Post Offices.
Labour Party finance spokesperson Joan Burton welcomed Mr Lenihan's planned announcement.
"A solidarity bond will not only provide citizens of this republic with an opportunity to make a positive contribution to our economic recovery, but will also build up a fund to provide badly-needed finance to develop our social, economic and cultural infrastructure," she said.
Ms Burton said it was essential the proceeds are channelled into productive, job-creating investment, and not into bailing out bust banks.
"If this scheme results in any level of economic stimulation and aids the maintenance and the creation of employment, it will be well worth while," she said.