Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the deal struck by the Government on the Anglo promissory notes, saying it is a hugely positive step forward for the Irish economy and the Irish people. Deputy Doherty added the deal would significantly ease the debt burden at a time when the Irish economy is trying to recover.
"The deal announced today by the Taoiseach in the Dáil is a very important step forward,' the Ratoath deputy stated.
"By liquidating IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, and replacing the promissory notes with bonds, we have essentially swapped a high cost, short-term loan, with a long-term, interest only mortgage. Over the next decade, the Government will have to borrow €20 billion less, thanks to this deal. On top of this, it will have a positive impact on the Budget for next year, which means there will be fewer new taxes and spending cuts.
"I have been amazed by the way in which Sinn Féin representatives have tried to misrepresent this deal, attempting to dampen down the positive impact it will have on the Irish economy. It is true that we won't have to pay any of the actual debt until for another 25 years, in 2038. The final payment will be made in 2053. And over those years, inflation and economic growth will greatly reduce the value of the debt.
She added: "This deal is one essential element of the Government's plan to improve the disastrous bail-out deal we inherited from the Fianna Fáil. Today, the Government has delivered a vast improvement to that deal. The toxic financial, political and social legacy left by the previous government has now finally been dealt with. We have finally closed the chapter on Anglo Irish Bank, and the infamous promissory notes are no more. I would like to pay tribute to Minister Noonan for his tireless work in these negotiations. He has truly delivered for the Irish people.
"There is still an awful lot of work to do. Today we have dealt with the €31 billion promissory notes. Now, work will continue apace on delivering a further deal on breaking the link between banking and sovereign debt, as we continue to bring about savings for the Irish taxpayer."
Speaking during the Dáil debate on the Technical Group private members' motion on the promissory note, Sinn Féin spokesperson on jobs, enterprise and innovation, Meath West TD Peadar Toibín said:
"The actions of the Fine Gael/Labour government will determine whether or not every man, woman and child in this state is saddled with €10,000 debt each or the burden is electronically extinguished by the Central Bank.
He claimed the signing of the promissory note has been a disaster for our people.
"The opportunity lost is enormous. This is money that will not be spent on jobs, hospitals, education, housing, transport infrastructure, garda stations. It directly translates into water charges, home taxes, higher PRSI, USC, income tax and VAT on hundreds of thousands of families living on the edge.
"The wealth of the nation is being retrospectively swapped for the debt of a defunct toxic private bank. This year, as this state falls over the 120% Debt to GDP cliff into unsustainability, neither Enda Kenny nor Eamon Gilmore can summon the nerve to follow through on their mandate and demand a write-down.
"We must demonstrate our deeply held intent in coming to a resolution in partnership with the ECB but equally we must show our preparedness to walk away from the promissory note this March unless a fair resolution is forthcoming."