SF calls for Nama referendum

Sinn Féin today urged all TDs and Senators to back its plan for a referendum on bad bank Nama if the controversial scheme is passed by the Oireachtas.

The party called for politicians to sign a petition for President Mary McAleese demanding a popular vote.

Arthur Morgan, finance spokesman, said the proposed toxic assets agency was too important not to be put to the people.

“The consequences of Nama are so serious for the Irish people today and for future generations that the legislation should be referred to the vote of the people,” he said.

Mr Morgan said Article 27 of the Constitution provides that the President may refuse to sign a Bill if it contains a proposal of such national importance that the public should be consulted.

“This has never been done before but if ever there was a Bill that contains proposals of such national importance that the will of the people should be sought, then Nama is it.”

The Nama legislation is to be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday, with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan due to outline more details about the controversial plan.

“As we state in our draft of the petition, Nama would place an intolerable burden on state finances for the benefit of private property speculators, developers and corrupt bankers,” Mr Morgan said.

“It would penalise our citizens now and in the future, entailing cuts in vital public services and higher taxes and levies which will fall most heavily on the weaker sections of the community.

“Let the people decide.”


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