Saturday 17 March 2018

NAMA just a welfare scheme for builders -- Gilmore

Anita Guidera

LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore has claimed that NAMA is fast becoming a community employment scheme for lawyers and a very expensive social welfare scheme for developers in trouble.

Mr Gilmore told the MacGill Summer School in Glenties last night that if Labour came to power it would review every decision made by NAMA to date.

"We would take stock of where we're at, and we would look to see to what extent the banks that have contributed to the problem could made a bigger contribution to getting us out," he said.

Mr Gilmore said that everything that has since emerged about the blanket guarantee for banks had proven that the Labour Party was "absolutely right".

"We stood alone that night in opposing the blanket guarantee because there were very serious unanswered questions.

"We were asked to give a guarantee with the banks that was open-ended. We smelled a rat and the rat has now been identified.

"I think it is astonishing that the government ministers who sat around the cabinet table that night didn't see the same signs," he said.


The Labour party leader told the Glenties school that the "best thing" the Government could do now was to call an election forthwith.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael last night called for every board to be replaced within six months of a new government.

The proposal, outlined by frontbench spokesman Richard Bruton, is one of a raft of new Fine Gael measures aimed at ensuring greater accountability in government.

"New board members should have a clear letter of appointment setting out their duties," he said.

Mr Bruton also called for ministers to be directly responsible for strategy and to take the blame in cases where strategy failed.

"At present, the minister is nominally responsible for everything right down to administrative blunders in the most remote outpost of his or her department.

"This ensures that no one is accountable for anything. This must change.

"This change can free up public servants to get on with the task of delivery, for which they will be openly accountable," he said.

Irish Independent

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