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Category Archives: Debt

A deliberate Government Policy is ripping off Irish Mortgage Holders and Small Businesses.


According a survey of interest rates published by the Central Bank, variable rate new housing loans averaged 4.13%


Typical Eurozone mortgage rates are 2.1%-roughly half the Irish rate.


And interest rates for small businesses have come down everywhere in Europe except Ireland, according to retired governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan .


The excuse given by Government and Central Bank is that they “can’t intervene in the market”


This is pure deception.


They are intervening in the market with the effect of keeping rates artificially high! There is effectively no competition in the Irish Market


Fine Gael Finance Minister Michael Noonan has designated Bank of Ireland(BoI) and Allied Irish Bank (AIB) as “Pillar Banks”. This means that they cannot be allowed to fail and will be subsidised or bailed out again by government if necessary. This has frightened off foreign competition-Danske Bank and Bank of Scotland have already left.


This allows AIB, BoI and Permanent TSB to run a cosy cartel at the expense of householders and small businesses.


The Government is the owner of AIB, Permanent TSB and EBS as it holds the vast majority of the shares. It can call special general meetings of shareholders at any time and it can instruct the banks to lower the rates. All other banks would then have to lower their rates to stay in business


But the government will not do this. Instead it hypocritically calls in the banks from time to time “to express its concern” at the high rates.


The high interest rates are, in effect, a penal tax imposed by the government on householders and small businesses.


The balance sheets of the banks are being repaired by this tax. The banks are being “fattened up for privatisation”. When sold off the money will be used to pay back loans borrowed to bail out huge investors in the banks before they crashed.


There will be no compensation by government for small investors such as investors of pension and redundancy lump sums who were wiped out in the crash of bank shares.


Labour and Fine Gael are deliberately running this scam on the public. Fianna Fáil are just moaning about it rather than exposing this huge scandal.


Candidates of these parties should be forced to explain and to commit to ending the scam




Seamus Healy TD ​​​​​​​​

Tel: 087 2802199



Statement by Seamus Healy TD  0872802199

Banking Inquiry Confirms that Irish Super-Rich and Entire Irish Elite Are Responsible for Greatest Crisis in the Financial History of the State


The report of the Banking Inquiry and the published evidence shows that the greed of the Irish rich combined with the compliance of their elites are responsible for untold misery due to the financial crash including mass unemployment, emigration, negative equity, loss of homes and life savings. It also showed that the policies of successive governments have left Ireland with no economic sovereignty to protect our citizens.

A new left government completely excluding Fianna Fail and Fine Gael is necessary to tackle this situation. New regulations and procedures are not enough. The rich and their elite hangers on will not implement any regulations if it does not suit the  rich.

The government, central bank and the regulator had plenty powers and advance information to enable them to intervene to prevent the crash but failed to use them.

In his evidence to the Inquiry, the then Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Tom O’Connell, put it in a nutshell: ““It’s sometimes said that nobody seemed to know that a property boom or bubble was developing. That’s … that is completely incorrect in my view ——Ireland’s banking and economic crash should never have happened, should never have been allowed to happen, with all the consequences of huge increases in unemployment, rising emigration, enormous debt, suicides, etc., that we have seen.-the liquidity pumped out into the banks was €140 billion, you know, with the … both from the Central Bank and the ECB. I mean, once you spell that out, that’s €140,000 million – there are 12 digits in that.——- One can only surmise that, as Professor Alan Ahearne has said here to your committee, too many people were benefitting from the boom time for prudence avoidance … prudent avoidance measures to have been taken. ”

TOM O’Connell is right!

The Inquiry found that the almost universal adoption of the “soft-landing theory” without any substantial testing or challenge“must be regarded as a key failing for the government, the Central Bank and the Department of Finance”-Ciaran Lynch TD Chair. The Economic and Social Research Institute, charged with advising citizens and government on economic matters, and employing numerous professors of economics, also predicted a soft landing.

There was significant overlap in membership between the board of the Central Bank and the governing council of the ESRI. Irish elite insiders from business, trade union leadership, academia and the business professions  dominated both boards.

Citizens should use the election to clear out the representatives of the super- rich from government before the cause another similar crash

Seamus Healy TD

imageAt 2pm today we march in Clonmel not just against the water charges but we march for change.


We march for the Right to:


– Have a health service which is fit for purpose.


– Education, including the restoration and increased provision of SNA’s, and an education which is truly free.


– Have gainful and decent employment which would provide dignity, respect and a living wage.


– Democratic Reform where citizens are at the heart of decision making.


– Housing, and to end homelessness and clearing of social housing waiting lists.


– Sustainable Energy, fighting climate change is not a ‘cost’ – it is a necessary strategy for human survival.


– Natural Resources. The assets of our nation were declared in the 1916 Proclamation as belonging to the citizens of Ireland, a Proclamation which
also pledged to cherish all the citizens of the state equally. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is one of the biggest threats to people’s ability to provide labour, social, and environmental protection and represents a proposed transfer of economic and political sovereignty from the Irish citizens to multi-national corporations.


– Equality, the right to equality encompasses social and economic rights which are implied and un-enumerated rights in our Constitution. These rights should be protected in legislation which will address the issues of poverty.


– Debt Justice, as past recklessness of financial speculation is imposing an intolerable burden on people’s future.


Just us at the Main Guard, Clonmel at 2pm.


Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199

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Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)

Debt is a millstone around the necks of the Irish people and of all low and middle-income families across Europe. I support the call for a new European debt conference. There is precedent for that. In 1952-53, Germany had 50% of its debt written off with a moratorium on repayment and a lengthy repayment period of 50 years or more.

The Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan has told us that the Irish debt is affordable and repayable. Of course it is, but it is only affordable and repayable if we are prepared to starve our children and have them live on the streets in cardboard boxes in Dublin and other towns and cities across the country. Of course, that is an absolutely outrageous suggestion.

The Minister of State, Deputy Harris, has told us we talk about abstract statistics. I can tell the Minister of State that the 350,000 people who are unemployed are not abstract statistics. They want a debt writedown. The 90,000 people on local authority housing lists want one, as do the 40,000 families who are facing repossession of their family homes.

The 30% of the population experiencing deprivation and the children living in poverty want a debt write-down. Certainly, they do not believe the debt we are repaying is either affordable or repayable.
Unfortunately, that is only half of the story. This assessment is made on the basis of the country paying interest on the debt of €7.5 billion per year. What will happen after the next general election is something the Government is not telling the people about. That is when the fiscal treaty will kick in and we will have to pay to meet the structural deficit.

How much more will that take out of the economy? I figure it will be anything up to €11 billion for several years. What will happen when the second part of the fiscal treaty kicks in? We will be obliged to get the debt down to 60% of GDP from its current level, anything from 102% to 120%, depending on to whom one is talking. That will give us austerity for a further 20 years or more. Austerity is not something abstract; it means human misery and chaos for low and middle-income families throughout the country and the eurozone.

It is unbelievable the Government will not take the opportunity to look for a debt conference and a write-down of debt that could ensure jobs would be created, houses built and trolleys taken from the corridors of accident and emergency departments, It could also ensure thousands of families would not lose their homes and children would not live in poverty. It is unbelievable the Government does not support the concept of seeking a debt write-down for the people in question who are already paying through the nose for a recession they did not create. Even before Syriza came to power in Greece, because that country had stood up to the European Union it had received a better debt deal than Ireland. Ireland should get together with Greece and the other programme countries and demand a new European debt conference for the benefit and betterment of the people.

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
This Finance Bill, the budget and general Government policy is based on spin, hype and, indeed, the Government’s lie that this country is broke.

Michael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
The Deputy cannot use that word. Please withdraw it now.

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
If the Government does not like that word, let us call it something else.

Peter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)

Michael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
It is not allowed under standing orders.

Peter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
Use the French word mensonge.

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
It is completely untrue that this country is broke.

Michael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
I take it that the Deputy is withdrawing that.

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
The policies that follow from that and which are being implemented by this Government mean continued austerity for ordinary people. They mean continued austerity for low and middle-income families whom this Government are forcing to pay for a recession that they had no hand, act nor part in creating. The water charge is one of those austerity taxes, but ordinary people are now saying that they have had enough. It is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The policies in the budget and in the Finance Bill ensure that the gap between rich and poor has increased. The policies mean that the super-rich get off scot free and will not even be asked to pay their fair share of taxation. In recent days, the Minister’s press officer boasted in the newspapers that anyone earning over €100,000 a year will get €747 from this budget. That is nearly €15 per week, while the lowest earners get 90 cent per week. Low and middle-income families will face more austerity, while the very wealthy get support and are not asked to pay for anything.

We have high unemployment levels while there are over 100,000 on the housing waiting lists and there is a huge mortgage crisis. Irish children have fallen further and faster into poverty than in any other OECD country. It is shameful that 28.6% of Irish children currently live in poverty.

We also have high emigration, including 84,000 graduates who have left this country in recent years. They are now contributing to economies in Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Ordinary people know that our health and education services have been devastated.

This country is not broke, however. All objective, independent analysis agrees that this is a very wealthy country indeed. Of course, the wealth is skewed in favour of wealthy people to such an extent that the poorest 10% pay more as a percentage of their income in tax than the wealthiest 10%. That is another absolutely shameful situation.
About 12 months ago in this Chamber, the former Minister of State, Deputy Joe Costello, told us that this was the eighth richest country in the world. That fact has been supported by objective analysis. We know, for instance, that the gross domestic product here per head of population is greater than in Germany, France or the United Kingdom.

That finding has been supported by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation in recent times. The German study shows that, despite being one of the richest countries in the EU, Ireland’s rating for distribution of wealth is 18th, in the bottom third of the 28 EU countries, along with Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia. As a result of the study, the foundation also cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. Ireland has a GDP around as high as Sweden’s, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and is one of the biggest losers in country comparisons. This country is very wealthy, but the wealth is in the hands of a very small percentage of the population that is not being asked to pay its fair share. Less than 12 months ago, the Minister for Finance told me that the top 10,000 income earners in the country earn €595,000 each per year. From the rich list published in the Sunday Independent by Nick Webb, we know the 300 wealthiest people in the country have increased their assets and income from €50 billion in 2010 to €62 billion, an increase of €12 billion. We know the financial assets of the wealthy are now at the level of the Celtic tiger era, at €324 billion.

It is time the Government made very wealthy people pay their fair share. I am talking about seriously wealthy people, not the ordinary individual with a redundancy payment or a retirement lump sum or who bought a house for retirement. I am talking about people with huge amounts of money, hundreds of millions or billions of euro each. They are not even asked to pay a wealth tax, which is one of the things the Government should do. It should introduce a wealth tax for very wealthy people, but I can see the Minister throwing his hands up in the air, as do the media and the establishment when people suggest it. We should remember there are six countries in the EU with a wealth tax. A wealth tax was introduced in this country by a former colleague of the Minister, Richie Ryan, but it was abolished by Fianna Fáil to suit its backers. A wealth tax is essential. Even a very small wealth tax would provide significant income, billions of euros, to address the issues of water, health and education services.

Debt is the single biggest issue facing the citizens of this country. I publicly congratulate the “Ballyhea Says No” group which has raised this issue and kept it before the public over a long period of time, marching every week. I also congratulate the other groups around the country linked with “Ballyhea Says No” who are doing the same thing, including “Clonmel Says No”, which marches every Saturday.

The motion effectively calls on the Government to seek a write-off of the promissory note from the European authorities. I support the motion because the Government has not even sought that but I am under no illusions that asking alone will bring about a positive response. Already, the Tnaiste’s game changer has been blown away by the German authorities. Not alone will there be no agreement by other eurozone countries to shoulder any of the legacy bank-related debt of the Irish State, they have made it clear that they will not shoulder any Irish bank debt in future. There will be no serious talks about mutualising the eurozone bank debt until we stop honouring the promissory note now and in the future. It is only then that real talks will start.

The EU has placed a huge millstone around the necks of the Irish people. That millstone is called debt, debt and more debt. The bank debt of 64 billion is not the debt of the Irish people and we are not responsible for it.

It is the debt of speculating European banks and finance houses. These institutions must be made to shoulder it. Ireland must get a write-down, as the debt is a crushing burden on us, our children and our grandchildren. It has created considerable austerity. We need only consider the large unemployment and emigration figures, cuts to services, tax increases, social welfare, pay and pension cuts, increased levels of poverty, particularly among children, and high levels of mortgage distress. This is what the EU has done to Ireland, our children and our grandchildren. It must be made to declare bank-related debt a burden on all countries in proportion to their GDPs. In other words, the debt must be mutualised.

In the matter of bank debt, the EU has been singularly unfair to Ireland. The Commission’s data agency, EUROSTAT, has produced shocking figures. Ireland has taken a large hit for the rest of Europe. In terms of the cost of the banking crisis to individual member states, Ireland is at the head of the queue. The crisis has cost us in excess of 41 billion. It is worse when one views it as a percentage of GDP. We are at the head of that posse as well. The bank crisis cost us 25% of our GDP. The nearest member state in this regard is Latvia with 3%. While Ireland has 0.9% of the EU’s population and our economy represents 1.2% of the EU’s GDP, Ireland has paid 42% of the total cost of the European banking crisis. It gets worse when one considers it on a per capita basis. European statistics show that the banking crisis has cost every individual in this country 8,981. The average across the EU is 192.

Matters are actually worse, as these figures do not take into account the 22 billion from the National Pensions Reserve Fund, NPRF, that was used to address the banking crisis or the 30 billion that NAMA paid for bank loans. Our money is streaming out of the country, as are our people, including many who have been expensively educated and are highly qualified.

The claim that we will recover our sovereignty when we exit the formal bailout is a sick joke. If we cannot force the mutualisation of bank debt, we will pay approximately 4.5 billion per year under the fiscal treaty. All of the indications are that there will be no significant growth in the near future. This situation occurred previously in Irish history when British landlords bled the country dry and Michael Davitt launched a Plan Of Campaign to start the ultimately successful land war. James Connolly, who we remembered in this centenary year of the Lock-out, wrote of the need for the reconquest of Ireland. We need a new plan of campaign and a new reconquest of Ireland. Sadly, the three main political parties are in league with the EU, acting through the troika, and have sold out our economic and political sovereignty. However, I am confident that the current generation will not be found wanting when it comes to re-establishing this country’s well being, independence and sovereignty.

 Seamus Healy TD

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