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Archive for the ‘Fine Gael’ Category

Fine Gael what about this promise ???

I got this message for Fine Gael the other day so I’m passing it on to them

Ireland’s coalition proposals are strong on rhetoric but need more depth

Taoiseach-in-waiting Enda Kenny will be in at the deep end as Ireland’s coalition attempts to deal with the country’s economic plight. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The campaign rhetoric seeps through Fine Gael and Labour’s freshly minted “Programme for Government” unveiled Monday after they agreed the terms of the coalition which hopes to lead Ireland out of recession and the clutches of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Its opening gambit is a declaration of “common purpose” noting that on 25 February (election day, in case anyone had forgotten) “a democratic revolution took place”.

It solemnly goes on to talk of Ireland facing “one of the darkest hours in the history of our independent state” and invokes the great Albert Einstein by saying we should “learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow” and how an “unprecedented level of political resolve” is needed to get the country on its feet again.

Although it is clear on some things – such as reversing the cut in the minimum wage, which is against the terms of the IMF bailout – by and large the rhetoric in the document is going to get the coalition only so far.

With regard to banking and the IMF/EU bail out, here are the main pledges:

Interest rate
• “We will seek a reduced interest rate.” This it is likely to get as there is wide acknowledgement that the 5.8% rate is unsustainable. The question is how much by?

Credit ratings
• “We will attack the utmost priority to avoiding further downgrading of Ireland’s sovereign credit rating.” It fudges the detail on this though and says it will set further capital spend by the state at “a level consistent with national debt sustaintability”.

Bank recapitalisation
• “We will defer further recapitalisation of the banks until the solvency stress tests are complete.” This is the big one. The PCAR and PLAR tests being undertaken will be complete at the end of March and are widely expected to expose even further need for recapitalisation at AIB. If AIB is worse than expected and Anglo Irish is as bad as chairman Alan Dukes has indicated, could we be talking about a second bailout? Dukes reckons Ireland will have to go cap in hand for another €15bn (£12.8bn) just to save the Irish banking system.

Sale of AIB assets?
• “We remain committed to a smaller banking system” but it says “to limit further calls on the state to cover bank losses from distressed asset sales, bank deleveraging must be paced. This is interesting. The coalition is obliged under the deal with the IMF to shrink the size of the banks but which would cause greater damage – losses from a fire sale or the continuing liquidity problem which require even greater capital injection than presently foreseen. Interestingly, one proposal, according to the Sunday Business Post editor Cliff Taylor, is to split AIB and possibly Bank of Ireland into two banks – one dealing with core assets and the other with non-core assets.

Credit for small businesses
• “We will ensure that an adequate pool of credit is available to fund small and medium-sized businesses.” The devil will be in the detail here as there is a widespread feeling that the lack of credit is smothering SMEs in Ireland. (If you are a small business and have experience of this please email me on guardian.dublin@gmail.com as I would like to return to this issue).

Restructuring bank boards
• “The new government will restructure bank boards and replace directors who presided over failed lending practices.” This is well-meaning but possibly doesn’t go far enough – what about staff in bailed-out banks, senior executives and middle management, who presided over failed lending practices?

End transfers to NAMA
• “We will end further asset transfers to NAMA, which are unlikely to improve market confidence in either the banks or the state.” Again, specifics are needed. It it going to end all transfers that haven’t happened or set a threshold – say all property development loans under €5m?

Transparency at NAMA
• “We will insist on the highest standards of transparency in the operation of NAMA.” Again, what does this mean? Those involved in the establishment of NAMA say it is politically popular to demand greater transparency but that NAMA, like any bank, will retain “customer confidentiality”.

Global pool of finance managers to be assembled
• “We will openly construct a pool of globally experienced finance services managers and directors to be inserted into key executive and non-executive positions in banks receiving taxpayer support.” International banking executives won’t be forming an orderly queue for these jobs unless there is some detail on pay scales and these are currently capped at the highest levels.

All it says on remuneration is this : “All remuneration schemes at banks subject to state support will undergo a fundamental review to ensure an alignment of interest between banks, their staff and the taxpayer.”

Bank bonuses
• “We will ban all bank bonuses …”

… I made that one up. Bank bonuses don’t get a mention, as far as I can see. This is possibly because bonuses in the bailed-out banks were effectively banned by the finance bill rushed through the Dail in January government through a 90% tax on bank bonuses.

However, it is the culture of bonuses even at the lowest levels in banking that lead to the reckless lending in the first place and some sort of policy detail on this would have not gone awry here.

The document is detailed and full of the right kind of rhetoric. For this week. After that it’s straight in at the deep end for the taoiseach-in-waiting Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan, who is expected to be named finance minister as they try to persuade Europe to save Ireland from bailout number two.
source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/ireland-business-blog-with-lisa-

You’re fired! (A Fine Gael leadership challenge on the way??)

The concept of loyalty is an important part of ethics. Plato originally said that only a man who is just can be loyal, and that loyalty is a condition of genuine philosophy. The philosopher Josiah Royce said it was the supreme moral good, and that one’s devotion to an object mattered more than the merits of the object itself. Loyalty is a quality one should look for in a friend.

But we are dealing with “Friends in the Dail and I believe this is quite a different monster

Its Dog eat Dog in there!

If a man can’t be loyal to his friends can he be loyal to people he has never met???

Lies and dam Lies from Brian Lenihan!

Quotes from Brian Lenihan since the bank guarantee:

Source http://www.thestory.ie


photo Machholz

On Breakfast with Newstalk, April 26 2010.

First of all, that’s the position in 2009, Eurostat hasn’t decided it yet, that’s our assesment of how they will decide it, we’ll still argue the toss with them. We have to deal with 2010 yet, but let’s assume that you’re right for a minute and that all the €8bn has to be added on in 2010. Let’s assume that. We won’t be borrowing the money, we’ll be borrowing the money over a period of ten or fifteen years. We’ll actually be up fronting – in accountancy terms – the figure, but we will not in fact be borrowing… – April 26 2010.

Also on Breakfast with Newstalk

Now that I’m the shareholder in Irish Nationwide I will clearly ensure that whatever money is owed by Mr Fingleton is paid by Mr Fingleton. – April 26 2010.

Also on Breakfast with Newstalk

BL: No, no, listen, listen. This not good for the country , and it’s inaccurate. If next year we’re obliged to include the €8bn, the €8bn will not actually be borrowed next year the device of the promissory note means we borrow…

Ivan Yates: No, I know the promissory note is over ten years. You’re missing the point…

BL: No you’re missing the point! This is an accounting device! This is not real borrowing! What the markets look at is real borrowing. Not accountancy devices… – April 26 2010.

Speaking to media…

“The decisive and bold steps we have taken are not popular; and the honest and full disclosure by the Government and its agencies of the appalling mess we have uncovered within our banks has shocked the nation,” Mr Lenihan told the Dail.  “But I do believe that there is recognition among the citizens that the measures we have taken are necessary. And I believe the work of NAMA in cleaning up the banks’ balance sheets and forcing them and their borrowers to face up to their losses is winning the respect of the public.” – April 21 2010,  Irish Independent

“One of the good things about the steep discount, averaging 47 per cent, is that the residential property market will now be stabilised at a realistic level… You can now buy in confidence that the price is realistic.” – April 4 2010, Irish Independent

[Submitted by CO’D]:

The Financial Regulator has advised that all the financial institutions in Ireland will continue to be subject to normal ongoing  regulatory requirements. This very important initiative by the Government is designed to safeguard the Irish financial system and to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy caused by the recent turmoil in the international financial markets. As far as the question of ‘moral hazard’ is concerned, it will be a priority for the Government to ensure that the highest regulatory standards and standards of corporate governance apply in all of the institutions concerned including in relation to lending practices to safeguard the interests of taxpayers against any risk of financial loss. – Department of Finance statement, September 30 2008

[Submitted by CO’D]: During Dáil debate on credit institutions and financial support,

Olivia Mitchell (FG): We need to see the terms and conditions to know what will happen with regard to these people. Is there any requirement for the banks to restructure their loans? Will they be allowed to make a massive number of repossessions and have fire sales, driving house prices down further and sending the economy into even deeper recession? Has the Government any plan to deal with this?

Brian Lenihan: This is the plan.

Olivia Mitchell: […] However, we need a return to the banks of old — to the image we had of them as being dull, staid, boring, cautious and careful. We no longer have that image. What is the Government’s plan to create the conditions that will ensure this happens? What will happen to restore confidence in the banking system? If we do not restore confidence in the banking system, what the Minister is doing now——. I do not know what the Minister is laughing at.

Brian Lenihan: I am not laughing. I am allowed to smile. – October 1 2008

[Submitted by DC]: As reported by Simon Carswell in The Irish Times…

MINISTER FOR Finance Brian Lenihan has said the bank guarantee scheme was “a necessary first step” and “the cheapest bailout in the world so far”.

Mr Lenihan said the guarantee was “the cheapest bailout” compared with bank rescues in other countries, including the UK and the US, where “billions and billions of taxpayers’ money are being poured into financial institutions” – October 24 2008

Irish Times…

“We are not rushing into the banks without knowing precisely what the position is in those banks” – Nov 20 2008

During the Stabilisation of Public Finances debate, Dáil Eireann

In the context of any capitalisation the due diligence exercise will yield further information to enable us to do a far more precise identification of risk before we formulate policy on it. I would be reluctant to commit the taxpayer on any issue connected with risk without a full and definitive assessment of the risk in the institutions themselves and we must await this assessment. – Feb 5 2009

Following the publication of Anglo Irish Bank’s 2009 results. Minister Lenihan said he welcomed the increased scrutiny of Anglo as an opportunity to bring openness to the bank…

“which will ultimately allow us to draw a line under past activities”. “It is an opportunity for Anglo to employ a fully transparent approach to addressing the inappropriate activities that took place at the bank and provide comprehensive details to all stakeholders who deal with Anglo and who deal with Irish financial institutions generally.” – Irish Independent, Feb 21 2009

When challenged as to why he was not nationalising banks (at this time the State had already nationalised Anglo Irish Bank and taken a 25 per cent stake in Bank of Ireland and AIB).

“I do really want to scotch the idea that there are huge risks to the taxpayer in the valuation process because we are not nationalising these institutions.” – Irish Times,
May 18 2009

Nama Bill, Dáil Eireann.

NAMA will ensure that credit flows again to viable businesses and households by cleansing the balance sheets of Irish banks. This is essential for economic recovery and the generation of employment. It will ensure that we avoid the Japanese outcome of zombie banks that are just ticking over and not making a vibrant contribution to economic growth. – Sept 16 2009

Nama Bill, Dáil Eireann.

I am not prepared to contemplate the establishment of an entity that has no responsibility or accountability to this House. – Sept 16 2009

Nama Bill, Dáil Eireann

Nothing in the NAMA legislation will result in more repossessions of family homes. – October 14 2009

On the nationalisation of Anglo, during a debate on banking regulation in the Dáil

This decisive step was taken to safeguard the interest of the depositors of Anglo Irish Bank and the stability of the economy. I want to assure the House that this decisive step was taken to ensure the new nationalised bank will collect all debts due from persons who owe moneys to the institution. – Feb 18 2009

In response to written question from Kathleen Lynch

Taking account of the advice received the Government has proceeded with a comprehensive recapitalisation of Ireland’s two main banks and with the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank. The Government is also in discussions with the other covered institutions, Irish Life & Permanent, Educational Building Society and Irish National Building Society concerning their respective positions. – Feb 18 2009

In response to a written question from Arthur Morgan

The recapitalised banks have reconfirmed their commitment to an extensive credit package which will help to increase lending capacity to small and medium enterprises by 10% and to provide an additional 30% capacity for lending to first time buyers in 2009. The credit package also provides for a €100m environmental and clean energy innovation fund to be established by each bank. All the steps that I have outlined have been taken by the Government to ensure that the public interest is secured so that the financial system in Ireland meets the everyday financial needs of individuals, businesses and the overall economy. – March 26 2009

Written answer to Arthur Morgan

Our approach will facilitate a sustained flow of credit on a commercial basis to individuals, households and businesses in the real economy. – July 8 2009

When questioned on the delays in implementing Nama legislation on Morning Ireland

“We can’t have a lawyers’ bonanza and that is another good reason why we have to get this right.” – May 18 2009

Kicker; written answer to Joan Burton

Arthur Cox solicitors have been engaged by my Department since September 2008 to provide advice in relation to general banking matters including the Bank Guarantee scheme, the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank and the recapitalisation of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank. The company was paid €1,628,024 in 2008 and €2,254,263 has been paid to date in 2009. The sum of €5.4 million has been allocated for legal advice for 2009 and an estimate of €3 million has been set aside for legal advice in 2010.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers was retained by the Financial Regulator in late 2008 to assist the Financial Regulator with a review of the financial and capital positions of Irish banks and to enable the Financial Regulator to advise the Government on what action needed to be taken. The work undertaken involved an initial high level assessment of the capital and liquidity levels of the institutions, stress testing of the institution’s loan portfolios over a three year period, and review the valuation of properties held as collateral against the main property loans.

The total fees paid by the Financial Regulator to the company in respect of the work was €3.8 million, which has been completed. In addition, the Financial Regulator has paid €0.84 million to Jones Lang La Salle for financial and property consultancy services in relation to the Bank Guarantee Scheme.

The National Treasury Management Agency paid a total of €7.3 million to Merrill Lynch for investment banking advice up to 30 June 2009. Following a competitive tender process in July, Rothschild have now been awarded the contract for investment banking advice. The NTMA has also retained an economist however the terms of his contract with the NTMA were agreed on a confidential basis. In addition, following a competitive tender process, the NTMA engaged HSBC and Arthur Cox to provide advice in relation to NAMA. – Sept 22 2009


NOTE: I’ve gone through the Dáil record and archives of the Times and Indo, but haven’t listened to radio or TV interviews. If anyone has a bit of time to go back and listen to a Morning Ireland/Prime Time/The Last Word/Whatever interview… t’would be useful.

* a word members of our Government like to use when scripting excuses for the negative outcomes that result from badly implemented policy or regulation. Usually follows “unforeseen”.

Irish Govt Appoints Alan Dukes as Anglo Irish Bank Chairman

 


ALAN DUKES (63)
who joined the Board in December 2008, is a Director and Public Affairs Consultant of Wilson Hartnell Public Relations Limited. He has served as Minister for various portfolios including Finance and Justice and is a former leader of Fine Gael.  He was Director General of the Institute of European Affairs from 2003 to 2007.

link http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100312-703533.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesEurope
His qualifications are what exactly?

This political dinosaur has been around for a long time and he has been feeding off the lush planes of Taxpayers land

This guy is an old and I mean very old party apparatchik and is well versed in the game of self preservation and self promotion. Mr. Dukes is no more qualified to run this Toxic Toilet than the janitor in our local public toilets.

Already in receipt of various payments from the public purses he will now enjoy financial security for the rest of his life and all thanks to us the taxpayers who have carried his sorry ass for most of his life

How is placing this ancient “public servant” (Leach) at the top of the Board of the Anglo Irish Bank toxic toilet helping the Irish people ?

Listening to the 1 o clock news I heard this man try to justify his new position and also try to tell the Irish public that he could rescue this corrupt and damaged Bank

This is a complete waste of Taxpayers’ money and is going to become a pasture for X politicians waiting to drop dead!

Dear Mr. Hogan

Dear Mr. Hogan,

 I never thought for one minute that Mr. Lee would be the next leader of the Fine Gael

Perhaps you haven’t read my article, I attach same again.

 Indeed as an independent (non party) observer of the political process here in Ireland I would have thought you your self would have some inclinations in that direction.

 Anyway back to Mr.Enda Kenny I believe if Mr.Kenny was to be more accessible to the wider media (Like us Bloggers) we would get a much better feel for the person lurking within the man. The people want the have a man or woman of their own, somebody that will tell the true and have the conviction to stand up and take on the challenge of defeating this corrupt government .Speak the language the ordinary person understands and stay away from to manufactured spin

Perhaps take a leaf out of the book from Emanon Gilmore and Liz Mc Manus. It is no accident that these two TD’s enjoy enormous support ,all around the country.

p.s. as stated before I am not a member of any political party

Phil Hogan replies

Dear Thomas,

I am sorry that you do not recognise the political achievements of Fine
Gael under Enda Kenny. We have more support than FF for the first time in
our history and you seem to have a problem. Who do you think we should
elect as Leader instead of Enda Kenny? Maybe you always thought that George
Lee should be leader.

Kindest Regards,
(Embedded image moved to file: pic04565.jpg)

Enda Kenny / George Lee

With the departure of George Lee, I believe we are witnessing the complete demise of the now exposed Enda Kenny and the out of touch Fine Gael with the realities of the current economic situation!

Enda Kenny, having scored a resounding national coup by getting the country’s top economic commentator to come on side, has now with the departure of Grorge Lee completely destroyed any hope of becoming Taoiseach

There is no use in telling the public that one has to under-go training in period when one enters the Dail

Remember the first people that entered the Dail did not have to undergo an apprenticeship.

This is just hor****

All this now does, is tell the general public that Fine Gael is just as mush a hostage to its accumulated

Ancient  practices that at sometime in the long distant past might have been useful.

This episode exposes again my contention that the practices in the Dail that all political parties conform to is way outdated and has no place in modern Ireland

Again I state that I believe that the system is corrupt and dysfunctional

This lame attempt  to now clam that all new TD’s included George Lee  must first have a type of apprenticeship before they can contribute is just farcical

 I would not vote for somebody that I thought was just going to be an apprentice

This shows the public that true nature of Fine Gael, it confirms that even in opposition they seem to have a lot of Prema – Donnas

 They are trying to make the public conform to their way of doing business

We won’t have it, and in the next polls you will see how pissed off we really are!

I call on George Lee now to form his own political party and I can promise him at least 30 of my friends to join him immediately

If Fine Gail wants to help form the next government they will have to shift Enda Kenny

His judgement is now on the Floor!

Forget the minimum wage and work for nothing!

Work Placement Program (WPP)

Languishing on the Dole for the last 12 months and not in receipt of any payments (because I was self-employed) I heard about this program, and thought I would go down to the local FAS office here in Wicklow Town and enquire about this possibility for myself!

As usual I was met with the usual courtesy .The FAS officer reminded me that they were always available, no appointment was necessary and we got down to business

I wanted to know if there was a possibility I could take advantage of this program.

Cheerfully she informed me I would be eligible for this program (now we are getting places I thought!)

Then out of the blue I was told that whilst I could theoretically get a placing for up to nine months in a company, I would be working without pay for those nine months.

As I am not in receipt of any payments from the department of social welfare or FAS itself.

I would not receive any funds from these state bodies nor would I receive any payment from the company I was working for!

So we have now reached the bottom in the Irish labour market, forget the minimum wage, with the new changes to the FAS rules at the last budget in December.

Brian Lenihian now expects the unemployed to work for nothing!

The sense of injustice is just sickening, as I have worked all my life and paid my taxes and yet I see people who have not contributed to the state collect payments!

It’s almost a crime to be Irish in Ireland now! FAS may not have any more money to pay

For the training and up skilling of the unemployed as a result of their incompetence

And questionable financial practices.

I appeal to the minster concerned to ratify this obvious abuse of the Unemployed and I call on all TD’s to demand that this practice be immediately revoked

I particularly call on the local TD’s for my area, to publicly show their support for the unemployed of Wicklow and support this petition.

Liz McManus TD liz.mcmanus@oireachtas.ie,

Joe Behan TD joe.behan@oireachtas.ie

Andrew Doyle andrew.doyle@finegael.ie

Billy Timmins billy.timmins@oireachtas.ie

Dick Roche dick.roche@oireachtas.ie


Wicklow towns roads

Andrew Doyle
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

 

Wicklow County Council has been given €850,000 to maintain its roads in 2010. With three weeks gone in the year and 49 weeks to go, I estimate that between €500,000 and €600,000 of that annual fund has been spent already. One of today’s newspapers reported that approximately €150 million – I imagine that was an educated guess – is needed to repair the damage done to this country’s roads in recent times. That equates to an average of approximately €4 million for each affected local authority. It is encouraging that the Minister of State from the capital city is present in the Chamber. It seems that his senior colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, who represents a neighbouring constituency, did not take this crisis seriously until it started to affect the city. As my colleagues have said, road infrastructure is the key to road safety. It is also the key to attracting investment, business and tourism. It is right that the road from the hotel in Glendalough to the upper lake car park was repaired last Sunday to make the road passable. However, another section of road not too far away, which is used for access by a milk lorry, was not repaired. If something positive is to come out of all of this, it is that local employment will have to be created as money is spent locally to repair our roads. If this is not addressed, we will have no road infrastructure in 12 months’ time.

 

Nice one Andrew, However I would argue that the roads in the town’s would need to be given priority as the car repair business is booming and workers cannot afford the constant repairs .This week alone I had to fork out 550 Euros for wheel Barings and the garage man tells me it was because of the various pot holes in and around the Abby street and Marlton road junction in Wicklow Town

Collecting my children from school is lethal as the potholes are getting bigger and bigger (near the Wicklow Montessori school) also outside the Abby National school

The whole road needs to be urgently resurfaced (Dublin Road & Abby Road ,Wicklow Town)

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