Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that today’s payment of a €1bn unguaranteed and unsecured bond by AIB is yet further evidence of the Government’s failure to deal with the debt crisis.
Deputy Doherty accused the Government of having no strategy to deal with the massive pay-outs of taxpayer’s money to speculating bond holders.
Deputy Doherty said: “Today AIB will pay out €1bn of taxpayer’s money to speculating bondholders. It is likely that the holder of this bond will make a massive profit at the expense of citizens.
“It is totally unacceptable for this bond to be paid. It is double the total cut to the social protection budget for 2012. It is almost double the total cut to the health budget in 2012. It is just under a third of the total adjustment the Government is set to make in next year’s budget.
“The fact that this bond is being paid today is further evidence of the Government’s failure to deal with the debt crisis. Just as they have no clear strategy to deal with the Anglo Irish debt or the pillar bank debt, they have no plan to deal with the on-going payment of unguaranteed and unsecured bonds.
“The Government should have put a plan in place months ago to deal with these bonds, signalling well in advance the state’s inability to pay. This would have created an opening for negotiations to secure a write-down of the debt. Unfortunately the government does not have the political will to deal with this matter. As a result today is yet another bonanza pay-out day for bondholders.
“This is not public debt. It should not be paid with public money. The Government must change course and adopt a new approach. It must signal its intention that the taxpayer is not in a position to pay these private banking debts. Failure to do so will result in more cuts to hospitals, schools and other vital front line services.”