Today in the Dail a Labour Party motion to postpone the sale of AIB shares until the funds raised can be used to invest in vital State infrastructure, has been passed in the Dáil this afternoon.
The planned use of the proceeds from the sale of AIB to pay down debt would reduce our debt levels by little more than 1% of GDP – hardly a meaningful difference to make. Labour’s motion rejected that idea, and instead said that the sale of AIB shares must be postponed until the proceeds can be invested in building homes and hospitals, and schools and public transport.
While the Government made a mess of their plans to oppose the motion, that must not be used to undermine what remains a valid decision taken by Dáil Éireann to pass the Labour Party motion.
The Government must now shelve their plans to begin the sale of AIB shares, and instead focus on seeking changes to the spending rules to allow for much greater investment in badly needed infrastructure. Michael Noonan must now confirm that his statement earlier today that the IPO will proceed is no longer valid.
The Government should look on this as a real opportunity to boost the paltry amount available to Paschal Donohoe to ramp up spending on vital infrastructure, and should direct all of their focus on that rather than seeking to undermine the decision made by Dáil Éireann today.