Government must hold Proper Investigation of Siteserv Affair and Low Interest Rates for the Super-Rich – Healy

 

by Seamus Healy TD.

Are Government, Banks and Super-rich colluding in the recession, just as they did in the boom which wrecked the country? Is this government subsidising the super-rich while oppressing those on low and middle incomes? These are the questions at the heart of the sale of Siteserv in 2011 and the attempt by Denis O’Brien to prevent reporting of the issue raised by Catherine Murphy TD(Independent) in the Dáil through a court injunction . A subsidiary of Siteserv was awarded a contract to install water meters.

Anglo-Irish Bank, now IBRC, was fully owned by the state, which had put 32 billion into it when the disposal of Siteserv took place in 2011. It is agreed by all that Siteserv was sold for 45 million , of which 5 million went to Siteserv shareholders though the shares in the hopelessly insolvent company were virtually worthless.  Siteserv owed 150 million to state owned IBRC before the sale. The state through IBRC wrote off this Siteserv debt before the sale to a company owned by Denis O’Brien.

Now the government has asked Kieran Wallace of accountancy firm KPMG to inquire into all aspects of the Siteserv transaction. KPMG led the sale and represented the personal interests of many of the key players involved in the sale, and Kieran Wallace led the liquidation of Siteserv plc.

The Siteserv special liquidator’s report was signed off by him and he was the one who distributed the €5 million to the shareholders when it was formally signed off.

This decision by Government to put KPMG in charge of the investigation is perfectly outrageous.

It has now been alleged that a company owned by Denis O’Brien has got loans from IBRC at unusually low interest rates. Crucially, Alan Dukes Head of IBRC in 2011 did not deny this on RTE yesterday. He denied that the interest rate on loans depended the size of the loan or who the person was. This, of course, is not the same thing. It would be a major scandal if it emerged that super-rich individuals and companies, unlike credit unions, were getting low interest arrangements from the Government through IBRC, while government through its ownership of AIB and Permanent TSB was fleecing home owners and small businesses on variable rate interest mortgages and loans.

I call on all Tipperary Deputies and particularly on Ministers Alan Kelly and Tom Hayes to insist that  a fully independent investigation of the Siteserv  affair and the interest rate arrangements charged to O’Brien owned companies and to other super-rich individuals

They must also support immediate amendments to legislation which will prevent courts making orders which could prevent media fully reporting speeches by  TDs and Senators delivered in the Dáil and Seanad. They should begin by supporting the Private Members Bill proposed by Catherine Murphy which is now before the Dáil

Seamus Healy TD

Tel 087 2802199

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