Legal Remit Governing NAMA Must Change Urgently

January 9, 2017

Ahead of tonight’s RTÉ documentary ‘Selling Ireland’ the Social Democrats have called for an urgent change to the legislation governing NAMA in order to immediately halt any further sell-off of assets. Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats today called for NAMA’s remit to change in order to stop what she called ‘the madness of continuing to sell our assets’. She also highlighted that it wasn’t just NAMA that sold off Irish Assets with Irish Nationwide for example selling its mortgages to a vulture fund and IBRC providing mega write downs to some wealthy individuals and while it is too late to stop those transactions we can put a stop to any future NAMA sales.

Speaking this morning Róisín Shortall TD said:
“Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post feature revealed that 24 Irish subsidiaries of vulture funds have paid less than €20,000 in total tax despite having a controlling stake in assets worth €20billion with some of them able to pay just €75 a year in tax. That is simply galling – the average worker in Ireland is paying multiples of the annual tax that these billion dollar funds are paying at the same time they are benefitting hugely with the assets we have all but gifted to them. Not content with making massive profits of between 33 and 50%, many of these funds are also pressurising struggling homeowners and adding to the homelessness crisis in Ireland right now.

All housing land and or properties in the control of NAMA must be put to public use rather than land hoarding or selling those assets to international funds. The current drastic lack of supply in the housing market is exacerbated by NAMA not making these lands and properties available for public use thus driving prices up and creating yet another housing bubble.

“Tonight the nation will watch the ‘Selling Ireland’ documentary and will be aghast at the wholesale sell-off of Irish assets- assets that the Irish people own – and there will be lots of hand-wringing and outrage but what we actually need is immediate action to stop the crazy practice from continuing. It is unthinkable that at the time we have a national emergency in the housing sector we also have a State agency hoarding or selling land and properties to entities which have no interest in the Irish public good.”

“While Minister Noonan has made some encouraging statements regarding Section 110 of the Taxes Consolidation Act which facilitates the activities of these funds those sentiments are not enough and Government must act immediately to not only shut down these unacceptable tax loopholes but also to ensure NAMA acts in the best interest of the Irish public rather than for the profits of international funds.  That requires political will to change the legislation governing NAMA and we challenge the Minister for Finance and this Government to show that political will as a matter of urgency.”

[ENDS] 9th January 2017