Public Banking System must be introduced in Ireland – Ní Riada

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has reiterated her call for the introduction of a public banking system in Ireland.

The Ireland South MEP raised the issue of a Public banking System once again as it emerged that both AIB and Bank of Ireland have found themselves embroiled in a scandal involving facilitating customers with the movement of funds offshore to avoid paying tax.

Ms Ní Riada said the creation of a public system would allow for a people centred alternative to the greed of establishment banks.

“It is outrageous and disgusting that banks which have caused so much hardship for people in this country are getting away with delivering another huge slap in the face of Irish taxpayers,” she said.

“These so called ‘pillar banks’ are treating the Irish people with absolute contempt. At a time when our public services are stretched beyond capacity in many sectors it is unacceptable that they are aiding and abetting their most well off customers in dodging the tax they owe.

“Coming after the tracker mortgage scandal, the bailout, the dirt scandal, overcharging; this latest heist on the public purse demands a real response from the Government.

“Despite the Taoiseach enthusiastically leading a campaign against welfare fraud when he was Social Protection Minister, I have heard no more than mealy mouthed words being spoken by Fine Gael representatives regarding getting tough with the banks.

“It is too little too late. The present Irish Government and previous Fianna Fáil Governments have been complicit in coalescing with the Irish Banks for decades and have played along with the only game they know – lust for profit.

“There is only one solution to end this duopoly and offer the people of Ireland an ethical alternative. A truly public banking model which will serve the interests’ of people, must be introduced without delay.

“I have been advocating for the introduction of a public banking system for Ireland since the beginning of my mandate in Europe and have also met many advocacy groups who support this model.  In fact I had a hearing in the European Parliament on the issue.

“Public banking models have been proven to work in many European Countries, most notably in Germany where Sparkasse is the largest banking operation.

“This model provides loans to businesses, tradespeople, public cooperatives and extends to the personal lending market in the form of loans and mortgages.

“The basis of this model is that it serves the best interests of its customers first and reinvests its income, including profits, back into society.

“The greed of the current banking system in Ireland, which has caused so much paing, worry and anguish for so many people, must be ended. It can only be ended with the introduction of a public banking model.”

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