Government urged to name Nama beneficiaries

Fine Gael today called for the Government to publish the names of the people that will be the beneficiaries of the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

The party's deputy leader Richard Bruton said taxpayers should be able to see who they are bailing out.

The party’s finance spokesman also claimed secrecy in the use of taxpayers’ money is at the very heart of Nama.

“At its core, Nama is a secretive, tax-funded, politically directed work-out process for 1,500 of the most powerful, well connected, business people in Ireland,” said Mr Bruton, after the Cabinet rubber stamped revised legislation.

“Not only will Irish taxpayers get scalped by bank speculators if Nama is allowed to deliberately over-pay them for their toxic developer loans, we’ll then be in danger of getting scalped a second time by the developers themselves.

“Secrecy in the use of taxpayers’ money is at the very heart of Nama.”

Mr Bruton maintained that under the current draft Nama Bill, the public can be prevented from knowing:

* the names of developers whose loans are being bought by Nama with taxpayers’ money

* the price taxpayers are paying for these loans

* the original value of those loans and of the lands purchased, and the amount of money that the developer themselves put into the deals

* the actions being taken by Nama to recover the loans now owned by the taxpayer

* the names of the people that will benefit from the €10bn in new tax-funded loans that Nama can give out to developers to finish projects

Mr Bruton said this raises the possibility that Nama will use taxpayers’ money to buy a €200m non-performing developer loan from a bank, and lend a further €100m to the same developer to complete the development, without the public ever knowing what has been done with their money.

“Not only will the absence of disclosure and transparency provisions leave the taxpayer ignorant and vulnerable about what is going on, but the draft legislation also gives extraordinary powers for political interference at every stage in the process, from hiring and firing, asset valuation and the rules of engagement with defunct developers,” he added.

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