Thursday, 17 December 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
There was a bailout of the banks 12 years ago. The Taoiseach misspoke yesterday. He said that himself this morning. In fairness, he corrected himself quickly in the Dáil yesterday. What he meant to say was that the banks' owners, the banks' shareholders, were not bailed out. Those who owned the banks and those who had shares in the banks lost all, or almost all, of their money. Some were very wealthy people; some were not. Some were just everyday people who bought bank shares as part of their pension. We need to bear that in mind.
The banks were effectively nationalised. Sometimes what happens when one is a Minister or in politics is that people say to one that they would like their sector bailed out like the banks were. What they often do not appreciate is that would mean the State would seek to own that sector. For example, if we were to bail out the fishing industry, like the banks were bailed out, we would become the proud owner of all of those boats. If we were to bail out the farming sector, like the banks were bailed out, we would become the owner of all of those farms.