Labour calls for detailed break down of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ loans

LABOUR vigorously fought its ground on its proposals to nationalise the banks last night after the finance minister tore apart their plans warning they would require a recapitalisation of banks costing taxpayers up to €14 billion.

Finance spokeswoman Joan Burton called for a detailed breakdown of the 40% of “good” loans on bank books and the 60% of “bad” loans which the State was buying through its NAMA proposal.

Details of the loans to be transferred to NAMA from banks read like a “page of shame”, she warned.

The “cronies of Fianna Fáil”, the banks and developers were all part of a “toxic triangle”, she added.

“Unless we get a consolidated list in regard to each group of loans and each developer we will not be able to evaluate the minister’s proposals.”

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan had alleged that nationalising the banks would need a capital injection of up to €14bn.

But Labour said the Government had a nerve criticising its rescue plan when it itself had no costings on its own plans. Most people on the street did not trust Fianna Fáil, Ms Bruton told the Dáil.

“This is not an episode of The Simpsons; it is the Dáil. This is not a case of ‘Trust me, I’m a minister’ or ‘Trust me, I’m a TD’. This is a day for figures we can analyse.”

Ms Bruton also claimed the Labour Party had been given legal advice that details in the legislation did not oblige developers to pay interest on the loans the Government were taking over.

Bank shareholders should take ownership in NAMA to minimise the risk on taxpayers, added Ms Bruton.

The same benefit of the long-term economic value being given to the properties under the loans was not being given to ordinary taxpayers, Labour claimed.

“The bank does not give the unfortunate person who lost his or her job a 10% or 15% premium for long-term economic value. Perhaps the minister will explain this to the ordinary couples who may have lost their homes because, like a developer, they did not manage their financial affairs too well.”


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