Government facing calls to end NAMA fire sale of assets

The Social Democrats have tabled a motion calling for an end to the "flogging off of Irish assets to vulture funds"

Government facing calls to end NAMA fire sale of assets

File Photo, Social Democrats TD Roisin Shortall. Image: Niall Carson PA Archive/PA Images

The Social Democrats are urging the Government to draw a halt to the sale of NAMA assets to ‘vulture funds.’

The party’s co-leader Roisin Shortall said the agency needs to take on a new direction to help resolve the housing crisis.

A motion launched by the party this afternoon is calling for an immediate halt to sales while a catalogue of NAMA assets is compiled.

The catalogue would then be “thoroughly examined “to determine how the agency can best be utilised to help deal with housing and homelessness in Ireland.

NAMA remit

Ms Shortall said the NAMA remit “should have been changed a couple of years ago.”

“There is still property there, there are still sites,” she said. “There are still housing units within NAMA and we need to say, ‘let’s put an end to the flogging off of Irish assets to vulture funds.’”

“That has caused major problems in this country. We need to stop that now, change the remit and see how NAMA can contribute to solving the major housing crisis that we have.”

The Social Democrat motion also calls for the existing legislation governing NAMA to be updated so that it reflects the challenges facing the country in 2017.

The main purpose of the NAMA act - as published in 2009 - is to “address the serious threat to the economy and the stability of credit institutions in the State” and stabilise the financial system.

The social Democrat legislation seeks to change the act so that NAMA will prioritise the “social and economic development of the State.”

Housing and homelessness crisis

“NAMA was established to deal with a debt crisis but it is now contributing to the housing crisis,” said Ms Shortall.

“With everything that has been revealed about how vulture funds are operating in Ireland it would be extremely remiss of the Government to sit back and allow asset sales from NAMA to continue apace.

“The time is long overdue for us to assess what NAMA has at its disposal and how we can use those assets for the social and economic development of our country rather than for the profits of global corporations and vulture funds.”