28 February 2012
By Tom Collins
Cork City Council has passed a motion opposing the sale of state assets.
The Government hopes to raise 3 billion euro by selling parts of the ESB, Bord Gais, and other assets.
A third of the money raised would go towards job creation, and the remaining 2 billion will be used to pay back European debt.
At last night’s City Council meeting opposition Councillors generally argued that semi-state companies should be used to create jobs while remaining in public ownership.
Fianna Fail Cllr Sean Martin said in the past many towns in Ireland had enjoyed a jobs boom when semi-state had moved in. Sinn Fein Cllr Chris O’Leary gave the example of Eircom and said that privatisation is “bad news” in Ireland.
However, Fine Gael Cllr Des Cahill said Ireland has sovereign debts which have to be repaid, and the Government has no alternative but to sell the assets to raise money.
A proposal to water down the wording of the message was defeated and ultimately Councillors voted by 14 to 10 to pass a strong motion calling on the Government to not to sell state assets.
Speaking after the meeting Sinn Fein Cllr Nugent said selling assets would be short-term measure with a long-term cost