Lack of information on banks starving intelligent debate

Given there is no public element to the inquiries into the banking system which we are told are taking place, perhaps a progress report in terms of what precisely is happening in those examinations could be made to the Houses so that we can get some sense or insight into what if anything is happening. There is a need for public information so that there can be proper public debate on these issues. We simply do not have that information. I heard last week an independent economist, Dr. Alan Barrett of the Economic and Social Research Institute, ESRI, say, when asked his view in terms of the comparative approach of allowing Anglo Irish Bank to be wound down or for the bailout to continue, that he could not give an answer in that regard because he did not have available to him the basic information that would allow him to give an intelligent response or any response.

When I hear Members the Government parties say that this is the only way forward and is the correct thing to do, I cannot assess that. I and no other member of the public can assess whether what we are being told is simply a spin because this is what the Government is doing and is the course on which it has set itself. We should be able to assess and understand independently what precisely is going on so that we can compare the two different scenarios. It is taxpayers’ money and the public interests that are being dealt with here and as such we should be given more information, even basic information, on what is going on. We have no information in this regard.