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19/05/2017

SIPTU Condemns Govt Decision To Sell AIB Shares

The Government's decision to sell a 25% stake in its holdings in AIB has been described as "absolutely indefensible" by SIPTU President Jack O'Connor.

In a statement from the union, Mr O'Connor said that the sale was undemocratic and in direct contravention of a resolution of the Oireachtas. He said that the proposal to use the proceeds of the sale to pay off part of the national debt is scandalous and a waste of precious financial resources that could be used to resolve the dire housing crisis.

He said: "This absolutely indefensible proposal by the Fine Gael/Independent Alliance to sell 25% of the Government shareholding in AIB is in direct contravention of a resolution of the Oireachtas yesterday which called for any such sale to be delayed until the Eurozone fiscal rules are re-interpreted to allow for such revenues to be channelled directly into resolving pressing emergencies such as the housing crisis.

"Before any shares are sold, there should be a national debate as to whether it is right to sell them off at all, in any circumstances, because of their strategic potential in the context of an uncertain future. If they are to be sold off, it should only be in order to realise the resources to address the scandalous housing crisis to which our banking system directly contributed.

"The Fine Gael/Independent Alliance administration is now proceeding to do something even the Turkish dictator Erdogan wouldn't do which is to press ahead with this share sale in direct contravention of a resolution of a democratically elected parliament. It is time to call a halt to this unnecessary move which will have an insignificant impact on the debt/GDP ratio, which in any event is improving more rapidly than in any country in the EU by a country mile, while wasting badly needed fiscal resources at a time of an unprecedented emergency in the supply of social and affordable housing."

(MH/LM)

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