Howlin calls on Cabinet to Delay Sale of AIB

Issued 26 May 2017

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has today questioned the legitimacy of Michael Noonan making a decision relating to the sale of AIB shares at his final Cabinet meeting next week, and has called on Independent Ministers to stand up against this plan to ignore the vote of Dáil Éireann on this matter.

Deputy Howlin said:

"We read today that Michael Noonan is considering discussing the sale of AIB shares at Cabinet next Tuesday, with a view towards making an announcement on Wednesday. The Dáil has voted to call on the Government to delay this sale until the proceeds can be invested in infrastructure. For Michael Noonan to get a Cabinet decision that ignores this Dáil vote at his last Cabinet meeting would be undemocratic.

"Decisions made by our parliament need to count for something.

"I am calling on independent Ministers such as Finian McGrath, Katherine Zappone, Denis Naughton and Shane Ross to now use their influence to stop Cabinet from making a decision that ignores the will of the majority of Dáil Éireann.

"Both contenders for Taoiseach have also called for increased public investment in the years to come. If their plans are to have any substance they should ensure the Cabinet does not rush into a decision to sell AIB, and instead heed the decision of the Dáil and postpone any sale of shares.

"The Government should also give regard to it's own Programme which says 'that the State will use its bank shareholding in the best interests of the Irish people'.

"The Dáil is the democratically elected parliament of the Irish people and has resolved that the sale should be postponed. For the Government to act contrary to the voice of the Irish people would signal once again the empty slogans of new politics."