State bank privatisations return to haunt government

Sell-off of ICC and ACC Banks leaves goverment in a bind - Mannion

ACC Bank logo
Sale of state owned banks was shortsighted

Padraig Mannion, Research Officer of the Workers’ Party has told a meeting of the party’s Ard Comhairle in Dublin that the "Government's bank privatisation has now returned to haunt them".


“The major commercial banks are in dire trouble. While this is entirely due to their own reckless policy in supporting land speculators it is a reality that the inability of banks to provide normal lines of credit to commercial businesses is causing widespread difficulties and is leading to job losses”.


“Minister Lenihan and Taoiseach Cowen are now trying to cobble together a deal which will keep some sort of banking system afloat in Ireland and will be enabled to provide capital to various businesses”.


“This is all rather pathetic”, said Padraig Mannion,  “For 40 years the government actually owned the institutions which could do that very job. The Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC) and the Industrial Credit Corporation (ICC) were state banks with the specific remit to develop industry and agriculture. However in a fit of Thatcherite economic foolhardiness the FF/PD government sold off these institutions to the supposedly more efficient private sector”.


“Even more sickening was that they were sold under their real value.Now, at the exact time when such institutions are needed, the government is left floundering like a dying mackerel on the quayside. Once again thousands of workers and consumers will pay for the ideologically driven privatisation agenda of this series of governments”.


Issued 21st November 2008

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics