Penrose pushes for Public Banking model in Ireland

22 January 2018

Labour spokesperson on Rural and Community Affairs, Willie Penrose TD, has welcomed confirmation from Minister Michael Ring that consultation on the introduction of a public banking system in Ireland has been completed, and called for the report to be published as soon as possible.

It follows a Parliamentary Question to the Minister by Deputy Penrose in the Dáil last week.

Deputy Penrose said:

“I very much welcome confirmation from Minister Ring in response to my Parliamentary Question that research and consultation into the concept of a public banking model, along the lines of the German Sparkassen model, has been completed, and that a report has now been submitted to both Minister Ring and the Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohue on the issue.

“We in the Labour Party have been saying for some time that the establishment of a public banking model would be a game changer for small and medium sized business in rural and regional Ireland, filling the gap left by the demise of building societies, including the ICS and ACC.

“Under this system, public banks would be municipally owned, rather than being nationalised entities; they would be not-for-profit and restricted to lending into the regional economy for the promotion of businesses.

“My own area of Longford Westmeath in the Midlands, which has secured just 2% of FDI related jobs in the past year, would benefit enormously from a public banking system, and trialling a pilot model in Mullingar as is being proposed, would go some way in making up for that investment gap.

“Minister Ring’s commitment in the Dáil on this issue was most welcome and I look forward to this report being published as soon as possible, with a view to this model being rolled out.”

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