Instead of Borrowing from Europe Ministers should Invest AIB Sale Proceeds

Seán Sherlock TD
24 May 2017

Labour spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Sean Sherlock TD has said it is bizarre that the Irish Minister’s for Finance and Public Expenditure are meeting with the European Investment Bank to borrow for investment, when they should instead be seeking to change the fiscal rules to allow the proceeds of the sale of AIB to be invested in productive infrastructure.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“Last week the Dáil passed a Labour Party motion calling for the postponement of the sale of AIB shares until the proceeds can be invested in infrastructure.

“We have repeatedly called on the Government to engage with the European Commission to amend the rules to make that happen.

“The Labour Party has led the establishment of a working group in the Party of European Socialists to achieve this. Even Fianna Fáil has now adopted our position, writing to the head of the Commission last week.

“Meanwhile Minister’s Noonan and Donohoe are sitting at a table in the European Investment Bank looking to increase our borrowings for investment.

“Instead, the possible €3 billion in proceeds from the sale of AIB could be invested in the schools, hospitals, roads and water infrastructure we need as outlined in the latest report from the European Commission.

“It is bizarre that on one hand the Fine Gael Government seek to pay down debt, while on the other they want to increase borrowings.

“This comes after it was revealed yesterday that the Government gave away €7 billion of the fiscal space up to 2021, money that also could have been invested into critically needed infrastructure.”

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