Speaking during a Dáil debate last night local Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said he believes that “any proposal to sell off AIB back into the private sector should be voted on in the Dáil”.
Michael Fitzmaurice also said that in his view a majority of TD’s would not support that proposal, adding “I am of the opinion that AIB should be held in public ownership for the foreseeable future”.
“AIB has been through a tough time and is now turning a profit but we have to think very carefully before we go down the road of selling it back into the private sector. Even if we did sell and get a large lump sum it is doubtful whether the EU fiscal rules would allow that money to be spent on infrastructure where it is needed. There would be a healthy dividend available to the Government every year if they held on to it and maybe that money could be used for capital projects” he added.
Deputy Fitzmaurice went on to say “A lot of the financial institutions that were supported by the tax payers in the crash abandoned rural Ireland when they got back on their feet. As a nationwide bank there could be a huge part for AIB to play in the development of a public banking sector which is something that I would support in conjunction with the post offices and credit unions. In addition we have parties advising the Government on this matter some of whom have actually bought up hundreds of AIB mortgages. It is certainly not acceptable that any such company should be involved in this decision.”
“I am asking the Government to bring this issue before the Dail and let us all vote on it and let’s see what the result is. I get the feeling that the proposal to sell it off would not pass” he concluded.