Minister must respond to findings on incoming Central Bank Governor

27 June 2019

Labour Finance Spokesperson Joan Burton TD has called for the Minster for Finance to make a statement to the Dáil regarding the findings in New Zealand against the incoming Central bank Governor, Mr Gabriel Makhlouf, and reassure members of the Oireachtas that the position of Governor will not be damaged by the controversy.

Deputy Burton said:

“The integrity of the office of Governor of the Central Bank is of paramount importance. Public trust and confidence in that office, and its occupant, cannot be undermined. Following the collapse of our economy, public trust in financial institutions and the state bodies which govern them collapsed as well. It took the best part of a decade to get our economy and public confidence back on track. We cannot jeopardise that once again.

“It is clear that the recruitment process for the incoming Governor of the Central Bank found Mr Gabriel Makhlouf to be a highly qualified applicant for the position.

“However, the findings against Mr Makhlouf in New Zealand, that he acted ‘unreasonably’ and the way in which the accidental publication of sensitive budget information was handled by his office of the New Zealand budget is worrying.

“I would hope that the Governor of the Central Bank would not be afraid to put his hands up and admit to mistakes if they are made. For the sake of the Irish public finances and the integrity of our financial system, what has happened in New Zealand cannot be repeated here in Ireland.  

“I expect the Minster to take the issue in hand and begin work to reassure us all that the new Governor of the Central Bank will conduct himself, and manage his office, in a fully transparent manner.

“Further we need to be reassured that in any future events, that the Central Bank will act and respond in a calm and informed manner to any controversy or unfolding financial crisis in what can be a very pressurised environment.”

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