Alliance comments on Assembly failure on NAMA policy

Alliance Party Finance Spokesperson, Dr Stephen Farry MLA, has responded to the failure of the Northern Ireland Assembly to adopt any position on the NAMA legislation, particularly bearing in mind its impact on Northern Ireland, and has called on the DUP Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, to clarify his party’s position on a Northern Ireland representative on the NAMA Advisory Board.

Stephen Farry MLA stated: “NAMA is an important issue not just for the economy of the Republic of Ireland, but also for Northern Ireland. Potentially, 5 billion Euros worth of assets in Northern Ireland will fall under the NAMA scheme, about 6% of the total. This is a considerable property portfolio here. While there is a danger of a fire-sale of assets, it is important that we don’t overreact and panic. Fundamentally, it is not in the interests of the Irish Government to sell assets without giving the opportunity for them to rise in value.

“The danger of any disproportionate attempts for assets outside of the Republic of Ireland to be sold off would be best countered through the presence of at least one person with the ability to articulate the interests of the Northern Ireland economy on the NAMA advisory board. Having initially indicated support for this, I am concerned that the DUP now seem to be backing away from this.

“It is a shame that the Assembly could not unite around any motion on NAMA. The Sinn Fein motion over-stretched the mark and was trying to refight on the floor of the Assembly a battle that should be fought on the floor of Dail Eireann. It is right that the Assembly is outward looking and recognises our economic interdependence, but equally we must respect the rights of the Irish parliament and electorate. The more balanced Alliance amendment was defeated on the basis that it was too partitionist for the nationalists and not partitionist enough for the unionists. As a result, the Assembly today has no policy on NAMA and any implications for Northern Ireland.”


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