Lenihan to unveil details of NAMA valuations

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is due to reveal details of how much the Government plans to pay for toxic bank loans when the Dáil returns from its lengthy summer break today.

Mr Lenihan will reveal the overall discount that the National Assets Management Agency will seek on the book value of bad property loans issued by Irish banks.

He will also reveal which loans NAMA will buy at their current market value and which ones will be bought based on "long-term economic value".

Reports over the past 24 hours suggest that Mr Lenihan will only impose an overall 30% discount on the loans.

Many observers believe the value of the property underlying these loans will never recover to such a level, which could leave the Irish taxpayer facing billions of euros in losses.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach launched a strong defence of NAMA, saying a failure to establish the agency would condemn Ireland to a long period of economic stagnation.

However, he held the door open for some changes in the proposals after demands by his junior coalition partners in the Green Party as well as Fianna Fáil backbenchers.

But he remained adamant that Nama was the best way to fix the banks as quickly as possible so Ireland can join in a global economic recovery.

“If that were not to happen, you would be condemning Ireland to a period of stagnation or worse over a long period of time,” he said.

Insisting it was not designed to bail out banks, but to get the country back to business, the Taoiseach vowed Nama would confront the economic crisis while protecting the taxpayer.

Banks and those who own the loans that will be bought over by Nama will have to take losses, he said.

Mr Cowen added: “We are only trying to make sure the taxpayer isn’t going to be the person at the end of the day that takes the loss.”

The opposition, however, say NAMA is not the best way to resolve the crisis in the financial system.

Fine Gael has proposed a plan whereby the good loans and deposits held by Irish banks would be transferred to a new entity and the bad loans left behind.

The Labour Party, meanwhile, wants the banks to be completely nationalised.

SIPTU and the TEEU have arranged a protest against the NAMA plan outside Leinster House at lunchtime.

In a joint statement, TEEU general secretary designate Eamon Devoy and SIPTU general president Jack O’Connor said the government was taking an incredible gamble with taxpayers’ money.

“The debts recklessly incurred by greedy bankers are being shifted onto the shoulders of the taxpayers while PAYE workers are being thrown to the wolves by the Government,” they said.

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