31 July 2017
By Tom Collins
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath (Cork South Central) has said that the decision of the NTMA to reduce again the prize pool available for Prize Bond owners and the number of chances of becoming a millionaire per year is short-sighted and disappointing.
Deputy McGrath added: “The National Treasury Management Agency has made the short-sighted decision to reduce the prize pool from 0.85% of the money put into Prize Funds to 0.5%. This follows on from a reduction from 1.25% in 2016. It would be interesting to know whether the commercial banks lobbied the government in favour of this move.
“The net result of this decision is a reduction in the number of opportunities to become a millionaire. Previously, there were six opportunities per year to win €1 million. Last year, it was reduced to four and with this planned prize fund drop, it will drop again to just two.
“The Prize Bond was established to encourage small individual savers to invest in the State’s funds. Each Prize Bond is placed into a draw every month and has a chance of winning a tax-free cash prize.
“Despite their investments not accruing interest, many small investors chose Prize Bonds specifically in the hope of winning a large cash prize. Reductions in the number of opportunities to win such prizes will, I have no doubt, reduce the attractiveness of Prize Bonds to small investors.
“Many people who have Prize Bonds are elderly people or people who have inherited them from a loved one. Many other people have put their money into Prize Bonds in order to save and to assist the State in raising vital funds.
“Removing the attractiveness of the product is short sighted decision by the NTMA, and one which should be reviewed,” concluded Deputy McGrath.