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We need to invest in Irish economy

There seems to be a presumption by most political parties, and commentators, that the Finance Bill and the EU/ECB/IMF so-called bailout should be approved because there are no other options.

Firstly, this 'bailout' is not a bailout at all, but the equivalent of a toxic subprime mortgage at unsustainable interest rates. Far from bailing out the Irish economy, it will simply dig our existing hole of national debt ever deeper.

Sinn Fein are right to say that the Finance Bill should be voted down until a new government is elected, and that the EU/ECB/IMF subprime mortgage should be rejected, but they offer no credible solution as to how the Irish economy could survive.

The solution that the new government should pursue is, announce that as far as possible Ireland will cease borrowing any more money on the international markets, and will pay back only genuine Irish national debts, not connected with the bank and property speculation bailouts.

If some of the Irish financial institutions are to fail, then let them fail. A new Irish state bank should be established, using whatever is left of the national pension fund. The new government should set up a national loan from which only Irish citizens could purchase bonds.

The Government should guarantee these bonds, and pay a tax-free interest rate equal to the rate being paid on the EU/ECB/IMF subprime mortgage. The difference is we're Irish, so the interest paid stays in the Irish economy and benefits the Irish people, instead of increasing the national debt by paying rack rents to the international markets.

We can do this, because we're Irish, and most of us are still proud of being Irish.

Dr EDWARD HORGAN

LIMERICK