Fine Gael’s Dr. Liam Twomey called on the Taoiseach and his government to be more honest with the people about the economy and the banks.
In the Seanad this week, Dr. Twomey urged the government to respond to the concerns that the international money markets still have about our economy.
“By bailing out the banks, we are compromising the ability of the people to get out of the financial doldrums in which they find themselves. Interest rates on mortgages are increasing, but rates on deposit accounts are dropping. Every 0.25% rates rise adds a significant burden to the mortgage repayments of hard-pressed taxpayers, the same people who have seen income and pension levies and increased taxes because of the mistakes made by the current Governments.
“People have noticed that the banks have now gone back to business as usual, putting up interest rates, cutting deposit rates and going back to a business as usual attitude. However, they are still not providing credit to small businesses. This is no more evident than in Wexford town itself, with the Chamber of Commerce recent survey revealing 27 empty retail units along the Main Street and its side streets. The response by the Taoiseach to this attitude by the banks, having bailed them out to the tune of €54 billion, is pathetic and is a sad reflection on the Government that it allowed this to happen so easily.”
Dr. Twomey also pointed out that the future of the economy is still not secure and deflation is still happening. “We must be much more honest with the public. Deflation is a problem over the medium to long term because we are in the eurozone. In this regard, we must look at the future of the euro currency and the impact it will have on the economy, events outside our control and our ability to recover. We need jobs and growth and possibly even inflation in order to come out of the financial doldrums. Although the euro has saved us to some extent, in other ways it is holding us back. I want a debate with the Minister of Finance about our role within the euro system and where we fit within it.”
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