Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill 2008: Committee Stage.
Brendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
It is most people's opinion that this new liability will make it more expensive for the State, qua State, to borrow. The Minister has acknowledged that fact. Will that quantifiable sum be part of the budget arithmetic so we will know how much is to be borrowed, the cost thereof, the additional cost subsequent to this legislation and the manner in which it is to be levied on those who are benefiting from the legislation? I hope this will be part of the budget arithmetic.
A number of other issues must be part of the decision-making process before we allow this to become a fait accompli. Otherwise, we can fold up our tent as legislators. The cry for the past five to ten years has been for little government, open markets, no regulation or light-handed regulation. Those who argued for these for ten years should now show some modicum of humility. Since they have come to the State, the elected representatives of the people and ultimately the people themselves to dig them out of the hole they have created, they should allow us to set the terms. We should demand that we be allowed to set the terms and not listen to the very people who brought us to this point telling us to get on with our job in a way that they determined.
In advance of any decision of the Minister under this scheme, there should be an analysis of its impact on competition generally. Some Members, including Members who contributed in this debate today, said this is a wonderful whizz that the Government has and that it is a model that will be replicated across Europe. Where stands the market? If every bank in Europe is guaranteed and if there is no risk involved, how can there be competition?