Tuesday 25 July 2017

Finally, it is time to put the taxpayer first

Michael Noonan’s commission will investigate some of the work of the IBRC
Michael Noonan’s commission will investigate some of the work of the IBRC
Editorial

Editorial

We were able to find €30bn to save a toxic bank, but when it came to burning the bondholders, none of the bright sparks in the Department of Finance and the Central Bank could find a match.

Instead, the taxpayer was smoked and we know the rest. Then along comes outgoing Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan with a batch of emails to suggest that the "moral case" for ensuring that the surplus money from the liquidation of IBRC be returned to the taxpayer is "almost unassailable". The only difficulty we have with this sentiment is the inclusion of the word "almost".

It seems there could be almost €300m to be gained for the State were Mr Honohan's advice acted upon. It may be a dollar short, and a day late, as has been the case with much of what has happened in the banking world in recent years; but this seems like the very least that should be done. For once, the taxpaper should be put first.

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