Government Must Pursue Write Down Of Toxic Debt Or It Will Haunt Us Forever

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People Before Profit TD says the announcement by the NTMA that Ireland has paid €60 billion interest on the national debt over the last 10 years shows we will be “haunted by toxic debt forever”

In a statement this morning Richard Boyd Barrett TD said that the recent news that Ireland has paid €60bn in interest alone on the national debt, over the last 10 years, shows that “we are going to be haunted by the toxic debt foisted on us by greedy bankers and developers forever unless the government demands a write down on out debt.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett brought up the issue of the €60 billion in interest payments with Finance Minister Paschal Donohue at the Budgetary Oversight Committee yesterday and pointed out that this massive drain of desperately needed public funds is the “equivalent of 3 National Children’s Hospitals every year for the last 10 years.”

Ireland’s debt burden ballooned to €200 billion when the Celtic Tiger collapsed in 2008.  The ensuing austerity drove unemployment up to 15%, forced pay cuts and extra taxes and caused untold misery across the country.

Meanwhile the developers who were part of causing the crash are all back in business and once again lining their pockets as they develop and speculate across the country exacerbating the housing crisis.

People Before Profit TD called on the government to, even at this late stage, demand a write down on the debt.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “It really beggars belief that €60 billion that could be used to provide housing, healthcare and vital public services has, instead, been spent on interest on our national debt.  So here we are a decade after the crash and still ordinary people are paying the price of the greed of bankers and speculators.

“If there is any kind of hiccup in the economy internationally interest rates may go up and our repayments would cause even more money being sucked out of local services, infrastructure projects and the pockets of working people and into repayments.

“Even at this late stage the government should be demanding a write down of the debt.”