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Archive for July, 2019

Threat To State Old Age Pensions By Fine Gael Minister carried out in Budget

All Pensioners on Contributory and Non-Contributory Old Age Pensions To Be Confined to Minimum Essential Standard of Living in their Old Age After A lifelong Contribution to Irish Society According to Minister Regina Doherty

“All State pensions should not be equal”, says Minister

——————————————————————-

Pensioners will be €168 worse off next year due to inflation.  Siptu economist Michael Taft said pensioners would need an extra €168 a year added to their payments to keep pace with inflation.

Anne-Marie Walsh, Irish Independent, 

Pensioners will be €168 a year worse off due to price hikes next year after failing to get another €5 in the Budget.

The Government’s forecasted increase in the cost of living would wipe €3.22 a week – or €168 a year – off the value of the full contributory pension in 2020.

Inflation is set to jump from 0.9pc this year to 1.3pc next year, and 1.4pc in 2021, according to the Government’s Economic and Fiscal Statement released on Budget day.

The pension would therefore have to rise by the same amount to keep up with predicted price rises.

Siptu economist Michael Taft said pensioners would need an extra €168 a year added to their payments to keep pace with inflation.

“The failure to, at a minimum, increase weekly payments by the level of price increases means that pensioners – and all those reliant on social protection payments – will suffer a cut in living standards,” said Mr Taft, who addressed a Nevin Economic Research Institute seminar on Budget 2020 in Dublin yesterday.

“There is no doubt this will increase poverty.

“This is the logical result of the Government’s failure to protect those on the lowest incomes.”

He said although there was a €2 a week hike in the fuel allowance and it is paid to many pensioners, not all get it as it is means tested.

However, he said the allowance would not make much of an impact on incomes as it only covers a limited number of weeks over the winter.

Mr Taft said it contrasts sharply with a big tax break for those set to inherit up to €350,000. “It’s nice enough if you have that coming down the line,” he said.

He called for a supplementary budget if there is an “orderly” Brexit because the Government’s calculations were based on a worst case scenario.

Age Action spokesperson Corona Joyce said Budget 2020 eroded the gains that the previous four budgets gave to older people.

“Budget 2020 did not offer the majority of older people the support they need to meet the rising cost of living that is anticipated by the impacts of Brexit and an expected increase in inflation,” she said.

“For example a person over 80, not living alone, received €1.08 per week to cope with Brexit, the carbon tax increase and rising cost of living.”

Michelle Murphy of Social Justice Ireland said welfare recipients will be left behind if rates don’t keep track with increases elsewhere in the economy.

Meanwhile, economist Robert Sweeney of social change think tank, TASC, said tax cuts in recent times have increased the Government’s reliance on corporation tax.

——————————————————————-Government To Give No Priority to Social Welfare rises In Next Election if Brexit Deal Agreed between EU and UK

Tax Cuts to be Prioritised Instead!

Donohoe  said once Brexit is clear – particularly if there’s a deal – ” it will be possible to continue to make progress on reducing the point at which taxpayers pay the higher rate of income tax.” And he signalled that it will be a central part of Fine Gael’s next election manifesto

Government Snatched over 1 Billion Euro from Social Insurance fund in 2019 to be used for purposes other than Social Welfare Payments  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma

PRSI TAX STRATEGY GROUP July 2019

Social Insurance Fund(SIF) income and expenditure, 2016 to 2019.

outturn 2016   outturn 2017  2018 outturn (provisional) 2019 REV estimate

€ Millions          € Millions                € Millions                € Millions

SIF income                       9,217                 9,816                 10,625                            11,240

SIF expenditure                8,764                  9,086                 9,491                              9,803

Surplus                               453                    730                    1,135                              1,436

The Total Increase in all Social Welfare payments in 2019  will be  361.6 million including the 5 Euro per week budgetary increase in maximum payments

The excess of Social Insurance Contributions over Total Contributory Social Insurance Benefits was FOUR TIMES THIS FIGURE at 1.436 BILLION

If the number at work and pay increases continue in 2020 as in 2019, the government will snatch over 2 billion euro from the fund as the 5 Euro increase in maximum rates has been discontinued.

The contributions to the Social Insurance Fund come from employees and employers. As the employer contribution is a labour cost it effectively comes from the labour of employees.

Budget 2020 to hit poorer households harder – Economic and Social Research Institute

Robert Shortt RTE Economics Correspondent

“The decision by the Government not to adjust income tax rates or raise welfare payments in Budget 2020 will hit everyone in the pocket next year.

This is because wages and prices are going up and so if people earn more, they will pay more in tax. Those on welfare will be left behind.

The ESRI has calculated that the Budget will reduce the incomes of the poorest 10% of households by 3% but leave the highest earning 10% of households worse off by just 1%”

Budget 2020 ‘betrayed the vulnerable’, Social Justice Ireland has said 

 Kitty Holland, Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 21:38

A supplementary budget will be necessary to protect the most vulnerable in the event of a hard Brexit, Social Justice Ireland has warned.

In its analysis the think tank said Budget 2020 had “betrayed the vulnerable and left many further behind”. While most of the poorest had seen no increases in their incomes as a result of the Budget, Brexit would deliver an increase in the cost of living of between €892 and €1,360, per household, per year.

The poorest 30 per cent would be hit hardest, particularly with rising food costs, said the organisation’s chief executive Sean Healy.

“While TDs will see their salaries rise by about €1,600 in the coming year (€30 a week) many of the most vulnerable will see their welfare payments unchanged. Among other things they will face additional increases in the cost of food and higher charges for public transport as a result of the increased carbon tax.

“The choices made by Government in Budget 2020 will mean that vulnerable people will see their standard of living fall and they will slip even further behind the rest of society. This is not acceptable.”

SJI had called for a €9 per week increase in welfare payments to ensure rates kept pace with wage increases. It expressed “regret” there was no increase to core welfare rates and that a recommended 30c increase in the national minimum wage – to €10.10 an hour, has been shelved pending Brexit.

“Despite the necessary Brexit-induced caution we believe the resources to deliver an increase in welfare rates were there.”

There had been “no progress” in addressing poverty among people with disabilities.

“Among people who are unable to work due to illness or disability more than one in three (35.4 per cent) live on an income below the poverty line. . . Budget 2020 did not take the necessary steps to improve services and funding in this area [and]did not move to introduce a cost of disability payment.”

Its call for an effective corporation tax of six per cent, which was based on the “principle of fairness”, was not delivered. This was “regrettable”.

“SJI has continually highlighted the fact that Ireland is a low-tax economy with its total tax-take among the lowest in the EU.”

Mr Healy said the poorest must not be made pay for a hard Brexit adding he would “fight hard” for a supplementary budget to protect this cohort in such an event.

© 2019 irishtimes.com

—————————————————————-Social Justice Ireland Wants 9 Euro Welfare  Rise to Protect Poorest from Brexit

Dr Seán Healy said: “Poverty will rise if welfare rates do not keep pace with these changes in Budget 2020. This is why Social Justice Ireland is calling for an increase of €9 in minimum social welfare rates in Budget 2020.”

Irish Examiner, Tuesday, October 01, 2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma

Social Justice Ireland say the poorest people in society need to be protected from the potential economic shock of Brexit.

The Government is set to release its budget for 2020 on Tuesday next.

However, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is warning Britain’s exit from the EU could hit the State’s tax take hard.

Dr Seán Healy, chief executive of Social Justice Ireland, said social welfare payments need to go up to protect the poorest from the effects of Brexit.

He said: “We are one week away from a Budget that is being shaped by Brexit. It is vital that available resources are prioritised on protecting communities, jobs and the vulnerable.

“In practical terms this means investing in communities, in indigenous enterprise and jobs creation, and it means ensuring that those who are reliant on social welfare are not left even further behind.”

Michelle Murphy, Research and Policy Analyst at Social Justice Ireland, said: “In order to protect the most vulnerable while preparing for Brexit we must ensure that we close the gap between current minimum social welfare rates and the benchmark of 27.5% of average earnings.

“In Budget 2020 it would take an increase of €9 to close that gap between the current rate and the benchmark to average earnings and to make sure people on social welfare do not fall further behind.”

“This gives an indication of just how important social welfare rates are in protecting the most vulnerable in our society. We should not lose sight of this as we face into a period of potential economic upheaval”

Dr Healy said: “Poverty will rise if welfare rates do not keep pace with these changes in Budget 2020. This is why Social Justice Ireland is calling for an increase of €9 in minimum social welfare rates in Budget 2020.”

—————————————————————This article from the Irish Independent , including Statements by ICTU Pensions Officer, Dr Laura Bambrick, is an informative and accurate summary of the current impasse on contributory social welfare pensions. https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma

ICTU submission and Government Policy Statement are also available below

Irish Independent: Plans to give pensioners more security are ‘being blocked in Government’

“The Department of Social Protection has informed us the delay in progressing the legislation is with Finance,” said Irish Congress of Trade Unions social policy officer DR Laura Bambrick.

When asked by Irish Independent if it is blocking the plan, a Department of Finance spokesperson said the query “is appropriate” to the Department of Social Protection.

Irish Independent, Anne-Marie Walsh, August 20 2019

Plans to ensure the State pension keeps its value are being blocked by a Government department, it has been claimed.

A senior union official, Pensions Policy Officer, Dr Laura Bambrick, ICTU,  said the Department of Finance is putting the brakes on proposals to give older people greater security.

This would be done by ensuring the value of the State pension never drops below the equivalent of 34pc of the average wage.

At the moment, the pension is not pegged to any economic markers – and pensioners are dependent on the goodwill of politicians at budget time for increases like the extra fivers given in recent years.

The Government has been urged to move on its commitment to link the pension with pay after missing its own deadline to roll out the proposal.

The Governments Roadmap for Pensions Reform said it would set a formal benchmark of 34pc of average earnings for the pension by the end of last year.

It also promised to roll out a process whereby payments would be “explicitly linked” to inflation and average wages in the same timeframe.

“The Department of Social Protection has informed us the delay in progressing the legislation is with Finance,” said Irish Congress of Trade Unions social policy officer DR Laura Bambrick.

She said its reluctance may be down to potential costs and a loss of power over budget priorities. It is vital the changes are brought in ahead of a planned auto-enrolment pension scheme in 2022, she added, so the public can be confident the Government does not plan to replace the State pension over time.

When asked if the deadlines were missed or why, the Department of Social Protection did not say.

In a response, it said it is “currently considering options” to implement benchmarking and indexation.

When asked if it is blocking the plan, a Department of Finance spokesperson said the query “is appropriate” to the Department of Social Protection.

The Government’s pensions roadmap highlighted a need to benchmark the pension to provide a “basic level of pension adequacy”.

It said current pension rates already meet this objective – but future increases should be linked to the cost of living and wage levels in order to ensure the value of the State pension is maintained.

“As pensioners generally have fixed incomes, and can expect 20 or more years when they may be at least partially reliant on the State pension, any uncertainty about future rates can cause anxiety, particularly among pensioners with no other source of income,” it said.

It said Ireland is atypical among EU countries by giving discretionary increases through political decisions in annual budgets.

“The Government believes a regime of automatic indexation would introduce greater long-term certainty for our retirees,” it said.

Meanwhile, pensioners have no idea how many years’ contributions they will need to qualify for a full State pension in future.

The department said it is designing a new “total contributions” approach for post-2020 pensioners and the minister will bring a proposal to government “in the near future”.

 

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Government to Raid Worker and Employer Contributions to Fund which Pays Contributory Old Age Pensions and Unemployment Benefit to Pay Increases in Other Benefits and Alowances which Should Come from General Taxation

Irish Independent 28/0/2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma
“The (Budget) allocation for the Department of Social Protection is still being negotiated, but Mr Donohoe will target payments aimed at low-income families rather than broad welfare top-ups as occurred in recent years.”
This is just spin. There is no intention to impose a penny in tax on the assets of the top 10% of financial asset holders who now have 50 billion more than they had at peak boom level in 2006.

As the Consumer Price index is up 0.7% ( CSO) since last year all contributory benefits would have to be increased by 0.7%,  to retain their value. To provide no increase would be a cut.

The PRSI Fund has been in surplus for the past 3 years as confirmed to Seamus Healy TD in Dáil by the Minister. The surplus was transferred to the exchequer. This means that the the government raided the FUND  for other purposes

——————————————————————–Will Trade Unions Stand Idly By as Government Plans to Phase Out Contributory Old Age Pensions by Falsely Treating it as a Social Welfare Handout

https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma

Contributory Old Age Pensions are funded by employee and employer contributions

Private and Public Service Pensioners who have both an occupational pension and a contributory old age pension are most at risk but not only these.

The phasing out is to be done by failing to raise the contributory old age pension in line with the cost of living in the budget each year.

The Minister for Social Protection has recently stated that only those below the Minimum Effective Standard of Living (MESL), a poverty threshold, should get annual increases

Irish Times: “Secretary General of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection John McKeon noted that unlike private pension funds, the Social Insurance Fund does not operate on a prefunded basis whereby contributions made today would be invested to fund future disbursements. The fund operates on a ‘pay as you go’ basis with current year expenditure funded by current year revenues, he said, adding that deficits are funded by an Exchequer subvention paid form a central fund.”

Paddy Healy: “Mr McKeon failed to mention that when the fund has been in surplus as it was in  2016, 2017, 2018, government raids the fund for other purposes.”

 —————————————————————————————————————————————-

ICTU Submissions on Pension Changes and Government Documents  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma

Total Contributions Approach Consultation: Submission on behalf of ICTU…

https://www.ictu.ie/…/total_contributions_approach_submission_finaljune_ 2018.pdf

 

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

entitlement to the contributory pension, and agree in principle with a move to a Total ContributionsApproach. The key issues for Congress in switching to an …

 

Your Quick Guide to Government’s Proposed Changes to the Old …

https://www.ictu.ie/download/pdf/factsheet_pdf.pdf

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

principle with the move to a ‘Total Contributions Approach‘. However, Congress rejects a number of the rules and conditions being proposed and are actively …

Congress Concerned at Proposed Changes to State Pension …

https://www.ictu.ie/…/congress-concerned-at-proposed-changes-to-state-pe/

 

May 27, 2018  This option is to be withdrawn in 2020, when the Total Contributions Approach will be the only method of assessment available to applicants …

Pension Reform Plan ‘potentially significant’; Congress commits to …

https://www.ictu.ie/…/pension-reform-plan-potentially-significant-congre/

 

Feb 28, 2018  Congress General Secretary Patricia King said that “the plan to move to a Total Contribution Approach will go some way towards addressing …

initial response of the irish congress of trade unions to the oecd …

https://www.ictu.ie/…/congress_response_to_oecd_pensions_review_may_ 2013.pdf

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

The report – if acted on – will change Ireland’s approach to the welfare of older people. The …. total contributions approach from 2020 onward. • The best two …

Report of Executive Council

https://www.ictu.ie/…/14878_congressbdc_executive-report_r7_final.pdf

 

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

Jan 28, 2019  agrees in principle with the move to a ‘TotalContributions Approach‘. However, Congress rejects a number of the rules and conditions.

Auto-Enrolment Retirement Saving Scheme: Submission on behalf …

https://www.ictu.ie/…/auto_enrolment_submission_ictunov_2018.pdf

 

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

Congress recognises that the current voluntary approach to supplementary …. The Strawman proposes a total minimum contribution of 14 per cent of wage …

 ______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 23/07/2019
Question Number(s): 2704 Question Reference(s): 32494/19
Department: Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Asked by: Seamus Healy T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION
To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the outturn figures for the excess of receipts overpayments in the PRSI fund in each of the years 2016 to 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY
This question is being answered on the understanding that it relates to the excess of Social Insurance Fund income over expenditure in the years 2016 to 2018.

The following table shows the excess of receipts over expenditure of the Social Insurance Fund for 2016, 2017 and 2018 (provisional):

 2016  2017  2018
 €m  €m  €m
 452.4  730.9  1,134.0

 

(Statements by the Minister and by Senior Civil Servants in the Articles below are Grossly misleading-PH)

Ageing population leading to ‘significant annual deficits’ in pension fund

Sorcha Pollak

 

Last Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2018, 16:07

Billions of euro may be needed in the near future to support and maintain the State’s pension fund as Irish people continue to grow older and live longer, the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has heard.

Secretary General of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection John McKeon told the meeting the State’s Social Insurance Fund was projected to suffer “significant annual deficits” in the coming decades with billions needed to prop up the scheme as increasing numbers retire and reach pension age.

While the fund is projected to have a surplus value of €2.8 billion by the end of 2018, Mr McKeon warned that the fund had run deficits in six out of 10 of the past years and that “during the great recession”, the total value of deficits amounted to €11 billion.

“This data indicates that the value of benefits paid by the fund greatly exceeds the value of contributions made into the fund,” said Mr McKeon, adding that the value of the State pension alone was worth more than the value of contributions made.

“For this reason, given the projected increases in the numbers of older people and increasing life expectancy, the actuarial review projects significant annual deficits in the future,” he said.

Thursday’s Dáil committee meeting examined the results of the latest actuarial review into the Social Insurance Fund which is conducted every five years to project the “likely evolution” of social insurance funding based on a “defined set of assumptions”.

In July, the Government warned the Irish pensions system was facing a number of “very serious demographic, adequacy and sustainability challenges” and that the Social Insurance Fund was forecast to accumulate a potential deficit of up to €335 billion over the next fifty years.

In its National Risk Assessment, the Government estimated that the number of people at State pension age and older would more than double from 586,000 in 2015 to 1,402,000 by 2055. It also warned that Ireland had a very low level of private pension coverage.

Comptroller and Auditor General Séamus McCarthy underlined to the PAC that the actuarial review was “a valuable exercise as it enables informed discussion about the expected long-term implications of current decision making”.

He warned that a “substantial” exchequer subvention would be required in the coming years to meet the spending costs of the insurance fund and that this cost would “increase rapidly”. The review estimates the insurance fund could need an additional €1.7 billion by 2025; an additional €5.6 billion by 2035 and an additional €11.4 billion by 2045.

Pay as you go

Mr McKeon noted that unlike private pension funds, the Social Insurance Fund does not operate on a prefunded basis whereby contributions made today would be invested to fund future disbursements. The fund operates on a ‘pay as you go’ basis with current year expenditure funded by current year revenues, he said, adding that deficits are funded by an Exchequer subvention paid form a central fund.

The Social Insurance Fund was set up to provide security to people currently in employment but who will experience periods out of employment including people in retirement, on illness leave and on maternity leave.

Most employers and employees over the age of 16 and under 66 pay PRSI (pay related social insurance) contributions into the fund and for this employees receive benefits for the periods they spend out of employment. The fund expenditure policy is set by the Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

© 2019 irishtimes.com

 

 

 

Will Trade Unions Stand Idly By as Government Plans to Phase Out Contributory Old Age Pensions by Falsely Treating it as a Social Welfare Handout?

Contributory Old Age Pensions are funded by employee and employer contributions

Private and Public Service Pensioners who have both an occupational pension and a contributory old age pension are most at risk but not only these.

The phasing out is to be done by failing to raise the contributory old age pension in line with the cost of living in the budget each year.

The Minister for Social Protection has recently stated that only those below the Minimum Effective Standard of Living (MESL), a poverty threshold, should get annual increases

Irish Times: “Secretary General of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection John McKeon noted that unlike private pension funds, the Social Insurance Fund does not operate on a prefunded basis whereby contributions made today would be invested to fund future disbursements. The fund operates on a ‘pay as you go’ basis with current year expenditure funded by current year revenues, he said, adding that deficits are funded by an Exchequer subvention paid form a central fund.”

Paddy Healy: “Mr McKeon failed to mention that when the fund has been in surplus as it was in  2016, 2017, 2018, government raids the fund for other purposes.”

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 23/07/2019
Question Number(s): 2704 Question Reference(s): 32494/19
Department: Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Asked by: Seamus Healy T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION
To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the outturn figures for the excess of receipts overpayments in the PRSI fund in each of the years 2016 to 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY
This question is being answered on the understanding that it relates to the excess of Social Insurance Fund income over expenditure in the years 2016 to 2018.

The following table shows the excess of receipts over expenditure of the Social Insurance Fund for 2016, 2017 and 2018 (provisional):

 2016  2017  2018
 €m  €m  €m
 452.4  730.9  1,134.0

 

(Statements by the Minister and by Senior Civil Servants in the Articles below are Grossly misleading-PH)

Ageing population leading to ‘significant annual deficits’ in pension fund

Sorcha Pollak

 

Last Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2018, 16:07

Billions of euro may be needed in the near future to support and maintain the State’s pension fund as Irish people continue to grow older and live longer, the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has heard.

Secretary General of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection John McKeon told the meeting the State’s Social Insurance Fund was projected to suffer “significant annual deficits” in the coming decades with billions needed to prop up the scheme as increasing numbers retire and reach pension age.

While the fund is projected to have a surplus value of €2.8 billion by the end of 2018, Mr McKeon warned that the fund had run deficits in six out of 10 of the past years and that “during the great recession”, the total value of deficits amounted to €11 billion.

“This data indicates that the value of benefits paid by the fund greatly exceeds the value of contributions made into the fund,” said Mr McKeon, adding that the value of the State pension alone was worth more than the value of contributions made.

“For this reason, given the projected increases in the numbers of older people and increasing life expectancy, the actuarial review projects significant annual deficits in the future,” he said.

Thursday’s Dáil committee meeting examined the results of the latest actuarial review into the Social Insurance Fund which is conducted every five years to project the “likely evolution” of social insurance funding based on a “defined set of assumptions”.

In July, the Government warned the Irish pensions system was facing a number of “very serious demographic, adequacy and sustainability challenges” and that the Social Insurance Fund was forecast to accumulate a potential deficit of up to €335 billion over the next fifty years.

In its National Risk Assessment, the Government estimated that the number of people at State pension age and older would more than double from 586,000 in 2015 to 1,402,000 by 2055. It also warned that Ireland had a very low level of private pension coverage.

Comptroller and Auditor General Séamus McCarthy underlined to the PAC that the actuarial review was “a valuable exercise as it enables informed discussion about the expected long-term implications of current decision making”.

He warned that a “substantial” exchequer subvention would be required in the coming years to meet the spending costs of the insurance fund and that this cost would “increase rapidly”. The review estimates the insurance fund could need an additional €1.7 billion by 2025; an additional €5.6 billion by 2035 and an additional €11.4 billion by 2045.

Pay as you go

Mr McKeon noted that unlike private pension funds, the Social Insurance Fund does not operate on a prefunded basis whereby contributions made today would be invested to fund future disbursements. The fund operates on a ‘pay as you go’ basis with current year expenditure funded by current year revenues, he said, adding that deficits are funded by an Exchequer subvention paid form a central fund.

The Social Insurance Fund was set up to provide security to people currently in employment but who will experience periods out of employment including people in retirement, on illness leave and on maternity leave.

Most employers and employees over the age of 16 and under 66 pay PRSI (pay related social insurance) contributions into the fund and for this employees receive benefits for the periods they spend out of employment. The fund expenditure policy is set by the Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

© 2019 irishtimes.com

 

 

 

 

 

EARLIER MESSAGE

All Pensioners on Contributory and Non-Contributory Social Welfare Old Age Pensions To Be Confined to Minimum Essential Standard of Living in their Old Age After A lifelong Contribution to Irish Society According to Minister Regina Doherty: All State pensions should not be equal, says Minister

Shocking Threat To Old Age Pensions By Fine Gael Minister https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma
Minister says welfare system ‘not working’ for many and needs to be changed (At Cost to “Better Off” Social Welfare Recipients-PH) It is not “fair” that some older people receive State pensions that are more than they need while others on the same amount live in poverty, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said. Ms Doherty said she wants to reform the welfare system and bring an end to €5 top-ups on every welfare payment being announced on budget days.
Kitty Holland , Irish Times: Saturday, July 6, 2019, 01:00

Full Holland Article Here  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma

Pensioners with Occupational Private Sector Pensions and Occupational Public Sector Pensions as well as contributory PRSI Pensions being targeted by FG /Ind Alliance Government

—————————————————————-Minister says welfare system ‘not working’ for many and needs to be changed (At Cost to “Better Off” Social Welfare Recipients-PH)

It is not “fair” that some older people receive State pensions that are more than they need while others on the same amount live in poverty, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said.

Ms Doherty said she wants to reform the welfare system and bring an end to €5 top-ups on every welfare payment being announced on budget days.

Kitty Holland , Irish Times: Saturday, July 6, 2019, 01:00

The welfare system is not “working” for thousands of households living in poverty, and radical change to systems is needed, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said. Signalling an intention to end traditional across-the-board welfare increases on budget day, the Minister said she wanted a far more targeted approach to guarantee a minimum basic income for everyone.

“As a society we would like to ensure that everybody has at least a floor which they will never go under,” she said.

Speaking on the fringes of her department’s pre-budget forum, at which advocacy groups set out their “asks” for the budget in October, Ms Doherty argued that the welfare system should guarantee a minimum essential standard of living (MESL) for everyone.

The MESL for six household “types”, in rural and urban settings, is calculated annually by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice. The adequacy of welfare payments to meet this is assessed, with shortfalls recorded as “adequacy gaps”.

This year’s report finds the deepest income inadequacy is “now exclusively found in households headed by one adult, ie single working-age adult and lone-parent households, or in households with older children”.

A single parent of two children – one in primary school and one in secondary, on welfare and living in a town – will need €428.50 per week for a MESL, but gets only €358.90 – an “adequacy gap” of €69.60.

The same family in a rural location needs €500.44 a week, gets the same as the urban family, and struggles with an “adequacy gap” of €141.53.

Pensioner couple

In contrast, an urban pensioner couple dependent on welfare needs €314.60 a week for a MESL, but gets €425.82 – €111.22 more than they need. The same couple in the countryside needs €386.11, gets the same as the urban couple, and so has €39.71 more than they need each week.

“These issues raise important questions about the relativities between social welfare rates,” says the report.

Ms Doherty said a new approach, if achieved, would require systems change, legislative change and political as well as societal “buy-in”. It would not happen in one budget cycle, she said, but she wanted discussions on moving towards such an approach.

“It’s not about deserving more or less because everyone deserves an essential standard of living. But if you live in an area where you have public transport outside your door and can get on your bus with a free travel card well then you don’t have that cost…whereas if you live in Glenroe and you have no public transport and you have to have a car or a bicycle [your costs are higher].”

Levels of poverty

She said it could be administratively onerous, but this was not a reason to ignore the persistent levels of poverty among some groups – particularly lone-parent families and households headed by people with disabilities – despite welfare increases and a recovering economy.

“When you break it down there are some who are taking more than a minimum essential living standard from the State but there are a lot of people who are not….So there is a whole different variety of circumstances that need to be looked at, that doesn’t get addressed when you give everybody the same, across-the-board, because you still leave the people at most risk behind.”

© 2019 irishtimes.com

All State pensions should not be equal, says Minister

Kitty Holland

 

Last Updated: Saturday, July 6, 2019, 01:00

It is not “fair” that some older people receive State pensions that are more than they need while others on the same amount live in poverty, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said.

Ms Doherty said she wants to reform the welfare system and bring an end to €5 top-ups on every welfare payment being announced on budget days.

She said everyone should have a basic minimum income guaranteeing that they can participate in society but that the current system was not delivering this.

The Minister said “if we are really serious about everybody enjoying the benefits of a recovering economy, well then we need to look at those who are most at risk of poverty and the people in consistent poverty as opposed to just doing a little bit for everybody”.

The same payments for similar households in different parts of Ireland may not be appropriate, she said, adding that political and public “buy in” would be needed to explain to the “lady in Donegal” why she was going to get “more, or less” than “the lady somewhere else” in the State.

“So a long conversation will be needed,” she said, adding that the changes would not be achieved in one budget cycle.

Ms Doherty said that despite a recovering economy and increases in welfare payments, 120,000 children still lived in consistent poverty, while some welfare recipients were getting more than they needed, including pensioner couples in urban areas.

“It’s not just about the rates. It’s about ensuring everyone has a minimum standard of living. What we have at the moment is people being left behind because we’re quite happy to leave everybody the same and everyone is not the same.”

© 2019 irishtimes.com

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Anglo-Irish Bank Fraud on Small Investors With Collusion of Government–Full Dossier

Report on Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) on Collapse of Sean Fitzpatrick Trial Still Not Published in July 2019!!

2016-Many Billions in Pension Lump Sums, Redundancy Lump Sums, Life Savings of Retired Small Traders including Sole Traders, Shares held by Credit Unions etc, Wiped Out Through Fraud Committed by Convicted Leading Bankers With The Collusion of Central Bank, Financial Regulatory Authority and Government’s Department of Finance https://wp.me/pKzXa-1lF

Sunday July 24, 2016-Paddy Healy

Has a Dirty Deal Been Hatched Between Defence and Prosecution (the Government) to Protect the State from Being Forced to Compensate Small Shareholders in Anglo?-Paddy Healy

Will the then regulator, the then head of the central bank, the then secretary of the Department of Finance be called (by sub-poena) by Defence to give mitigation of sentence evidence as to whether they encouraged the fraudsters or simply allowed the fraud to continue? Had they full advance knowledge? Or has a Dirty Deal on Length of Sentence been Done between Government(DPP) and the Fraudsters?

The stench is rising! Damning files reveal Central Bank’s role in €7bn banking fraud – The Sunday Business Post  19/06/2016

MINISTER NOONAN FAILS TO ANSWER DEMAND FOR COMPENSATION FOR SMALL SHAREHOLDERS IN ANGLO BY SEAMUS HEALY TD IN DAIL REPLY TO PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION-PENSIONERS, REDUNDANT WORKERS, RETIRED SOLE TRADERS ETC DEFRAUDED –Government, Department of Finance had Full Knowledge!!

<!– [if lt IE 9]> http://www.businesspost.ie/wp-content/themes/smart-mag/js/html5.js <![endif]–>

“Official files and secret notes reveal that a €7 billion fraud that led to the criminal conviction of three bankers earlier this month was “potentially based on encouragement” from the Central Bank, The Sunday Business Post can reveal.

The secret documents reveal how the state had intimate knowledge that the two banks were helping each other out during the financial crisis in order to make their balance sheets appear stronger to investors and the stock market.

The day before Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised in January 2009, Con Horan, the regulator’s then prudential director, told a high-powered meeting that his banking watchdog had an “awareness” that the bank was “working together” with Irish Life & Permanent, using what was called “back-to-back loans”.

He then told senior Department of Finance, NTMA and Central Bank officials that this working relationship was “potentially based on encouragement from Dame Street”.

Horan said he was meeting the bank’s auditors to discuss the arrangement. He also explained how the circular transaction worked in January 2009 in order to use money from IL&P to boost Anglo’s customer deposits.

Horan was asked by Mary O’Dea, another senior official in the Central Bank, whether or not the €7 billion deal would have to be disclosed in Anglo’s accounts.

Horan said: “Auditors are comfortable… Current accounts will have lot more disclosures.”

On February 25, 2009 documents marked “secret” by the Financial Regulator also saw the state’s banking watchdog admit internally that Anglo and IL&P bankers might be able to argue that the €7 billion fraud was only carried out because of “encouragement”–

“In a document prepared for its board, the regulator admitted: “There is also information available that might be argued to support a defence against accusations of market abuse, specifically in relation to knowledge within the Financial Regulator/Central Bank, but also more generally in relation to the role of the Department of Finance, Central Bank and Financial Regulator encouraging institutions to co-operate with each other in extremely difficult circumstances where the very existence of the Irish financial system was in some doubt.”

There is also evidence in notes kept of meetings of the Domestic Standing Group – made up of the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator – that the state was monitoring how Anglo and IL&P were working together in the months before the €7 billion fraud…. SB POST

Full Article:

http://www.businesspost.ie/damning-files-reveal-central-banks-role-in-e7bn-banking-fraud/

Business Post   19/06/2016

 

——————————

Sentencing of Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent Top Dog Fraudsters Adjourned until Friday

Thousands lost their life savings due to the fraud!

Wed July 27,2016

Is there a dirty deal between the Government and the Defendants To Protect the state from compensation claims?

At the sentence hearing on Monday Last, defence pointed out that there was no loss to the bank or to the state due to the fraud

There are no reports of the Prosecution on behalf of the Government pointing out that thousands of small investors, including pensioners,redundant workers, retired small business and trades people, credit unions etc, were defrauded of their life savings

There were several high ranking character witnesses called in support of mitigation of sentence by the defence

But there were no victim impact statements allowed by defrauded pensioners etc though these are criminal convictions for defrauding these victims.

Prosecutor O’Higgins SC,for the prosecution (State),  told the judge that the maximum effective sentence was ten years according to newspaper reports

But  no  demand for the maximum sentence to be applied was reported.

The defense on behalf of the convicted bankers did not call the then regulator, the then governor of the central bank, the then secretary general of the Department of Finance

Had the defence, instructed by the bankers and the government (who instructs the prosecuting lawyers) done a deal to prevent small investors getting their money back???

Lawyers for the defendants and the Government must take instructions from their clients unless such instructions are illegal, unethical or in breach of court rules.

Hence the players in any deal are not the lawyers but the government and the convicted bankers. The interests of those actually defrauded were not represented!!!

Noonan’s Non Reply To Seamus Healy TD in Dáil: Will Small Shareholders be Compensated??

QUESTION NO:  115

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)
by Deputy Seamus Healy for WRITTEN ANSWER on 23/06/2016

 

“To ask the Minister for Finance if he will recommend that small shareholders be compensated by the State at least to the extent of the entitlement of depositors under the Bank Deposit Guarantee Scheme, given the conviction of two former executives of Anglo-Irish Bank on a charge of conspiring to defraud investors, that Government and his Department, the Office of The Regulator and the Central Bank were all aware of the relevant transaction in advance of the publication of the misleading accounts of the affairs of the bank and the other evidence and remarks of the Judge in Court (details supplied see further down); and if he will make a statement on the matter.-Seamus Healy TD

REPLY Of Minister NOONAN

“As previously outlined to the Deputy in my answer to parliamentary question number 108 on 16th June 2016, Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised on 15 January 2009 and on that date the Minister for Finance acquired all of the ordinary and preference share capital by virtue of the provisions of the Anglo Irish Bank Act 2009, therefore, as of that date, the ownership of the shares in Anglo Irish Bank would have transferred to the Minister for Finance. If the Government had not nationalised Anglo Irish Bank, the Bank had the potential to collapse and impact on the entire Irish banking system. At that time, shares were valued on the market  in the region of €0.22, however in the event of the Bank failing, Anglo Irish Bank s shares would have been worthless.

Sections 22-32 of the Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Act 2009 provide that the Minister for Finance shall appoint an Assessor at an appropriate time having regard to the public interest. The job of the Assessor is to independently determine the fair and reasonable aggregate value, if any, of the transferred shares and extinguished rights and the consequent amount of compensation, if any, that may be payable to persons in respect of Anglo Irish Bank shares transferred and rights extinguished under the Act. Since the liquidation of IBRC in February 2013, there has been no timeframe set for the appointment of an Assessor.

An update on the liquidation of IBRC can be found at http://www.finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Progress%20update%20report_31%20Dec%202015_0.pdf

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme (“DGS”) was established to protect depositors in the event of a bank, building society or credit union authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland being unable to repay deposits. The DGS is part of the Central Bank of Ireland s strategy to ensure that the best interests of consumers of financial services are protected. The DGS is administered by the Central Bank of Ireland and is funded by the credit institutions covered by the scheme. The DGS was not established to protect equity investors.”-Minister Noonan

 

 

Details Supplied by Seamus Healy TD to Minister Noonan With His Parliamentary  Question.

Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016

“In a document prepared for its board, the regulator admitted: “There is also information available that might be argued to support a defence against accusations of market abuse, specifically in relation to knowledge within the Financial Regulator/Central Bank, but also more generally in relation to the role of the Department of Finance, Central Bank and Financial Regulator encouraging institutions to co-operate with each other in extremely difficult circumstances where the very existence of the Irish financial system was in some doubt.”

There is also evidence in notes kept of meetings of the Domestic Standing Group – made up of the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator – that the state was monitoring how Anglo and IL&P were working together in the months before the €7 billion fraud.-Sunday Business Post, 19/06/2016

Full Report

http://www.businesspost.ie/damning-files-reveal-central-banks-role-in-e7bn-banking-fraud/

Business Post   19/06/2016

Remarks of Judge in Court- Colm Keena, Irish Times, June 9,2016

“These were classic back-to-back transactions, done for public optics only,” the judge said in his February ruling. He said he believed the regulator “condoned optics-based balance sheet management” as it did not want Irish banks to “go down”. The Irish authorities were frightened by what they had seen with Northern Rock and they had seen central banks in other jurisdictions help their banking systems.

Neary and Hurley were “hands on” and entirely involved in the effort to save the Irish banking system, the judge said. They had put the green jersey into Casey’s mind, and Casey had acted on it.  

Declan Brennan,Irish Times, , May 5, 2016, 18:07

 

Mr Peter  Fitzpatrick (Irish Life and Permanent) who was acquitted of the conspiracy to defraud investors said in a statement to gardai quoted in court:

“He said that prior to January 2009, ILP never received any request for clarification from Anglo or its auditors, the then financial regulator Patrick Neary or the then Central Bank governor John Hurley

‘Political expediency’

“I feel that the matter was dealt with as a matter of political expediency with no reference to the substance of the transaction.

“I believe that the actions of the [financial] regulator post 30 September 2008 effectively shows [sic] that he tacitly if not explicitly approved such actions. Without this understanding the transaction would have in all certainty not have taken place,” he told gardaí­.

————————————————————————————————-

Sunday Independent, 12/06/2016

Dearbhail McDonald Legal editor

 

 On one end of the line was John Bowe, Anglo’s head of capital markets. At the other was Mary Elizabeth Donoghue from the Office of the Financial Regulator.

The call occurred on October 28, 2008, weeks before publication of Anglo’s preliminary results on December 3, 2008. Critically, it also came weeks after the execution of a spectacular €7.2bn scheme of circular transactions between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent…..

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” said Donoghue as Bowe explained the motivation behind the balance sheet window dressing exercise, insisting it had nothing to do with the liquidity crisis then engulfing banks around the globe, including our own.

The conversation included this exchange:

Bowe: “This was purely about avoiding an issue of confidence in the bank.”

Donoghue: “Yeah, so it looked like an asset manager had placed money with yourselves?”

Bowe “Exactly.”

Donoghue “It forms part of the… the customer deposit, yeah.”

Bowe: “Exactly.”

Donoghue: “Yeah. That’s fine, that’s grand, that’s what I – even my limited reading of it now that’s what I read it to be and I just wanted – let’s not get too excited about what’s happening here and let’s call it what it is. That’s fine.”      

————————————————–

Drumm Trial Irish Independent  06/06/2018

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/long-read-former-anglo-ceo-drumms-confidence-trick-on-the-market-not-just-a-cheat-but-a-crime-36984340.html

 

Ken Foy

Irish Independent January 5 2017 2:30 AM

 

 

 

Three former bank executives who are serving sentences for criminal conspiracy in a €7bn market deception scheme spent the festive period in jail at Loughan House open prison in Co Cavan.

The trio are former Anglo Irish Bank executives John Bowe (52), Willie McAteer (65) and former Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) group chief executive Denis Casey (56).

None of the men was granted temporary release from the open prison – although it is not known if any of them even applied to get out over the Christmas period.

Bowe, McAteer and Casey were transferred together to the Co Cavan facility in late September after spending two months in Mountjoy Prison’s training unit.

Jail sources said the three disgraced bankers had an “impeccable” behaviour record since being locked up last July.

Bowe, from Glasnevin, Dublin, McAteer, of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, and Casey, from Raheny, Dublin, had all pleaded not guilty to conspiring together and with others to defraud by setting up a €7.2bn circular transaction scheme between March 1 and September 30, 2008 to bolster Anglo’s balance sheet with the intention of misleading investors.

On day 89 of the longest-running criminal trial in the State’s history, a jury convicted Casey. It had already returned guilty verdicts on Bowe and McAteer a week earlier.

Jailing McAteer for three-and-a-half years, Judge Martin Nolan told him he had authorised the transactions when he knew what he was doing was underhand, deceitful and corrupt.

He told Bowe that he was the chief man in Anglo’s treasury room and he had failed to act with honesty.

He imposed a two-year sentence on Bowe, telling him the lower sentence was because he was “a lesser functionary” and not a board member at the bank.

Judge Nolan told Casey that he had made a grave error of judgment in authorising the transaction with Anglo. He jailed him for two years and nine months.

In October, it emerged that the trio were to appeal against their convictions at a hearing that is due to take place in March.

The three men lodged appeals against their convictions and a hearing date was fixed for the week beginning March 6.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said a week-long appeal hearing would be “the longest appeal” since the court was established in 2014.

 

 

Sentencing of Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent Top Dog Fraudsters Adjourned until Friday

Wed July 27,2016

Anglo trial: Sentences of two to three-and-a-half years for trio convicted of fraudulent €7.2 billion transaction

Denis Casey, William McAteer and John Bowe were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud last month.

Journal.ie   Jul 29th 2016,

Updated 11.55am

THREE FORMER BANKING executives have been jailed for conspiring in a “deceitful and corrupt” €7 billion market deception scheme.

Judge Martin Nolan said that former former Anglo Irish Bank executives John Bowe (52) and Willie McAteer (65), and the former Group Chief Executive of Irish Life and Permanent plc. (ILP), Denis Casey (56) took part in a scheme that was “deceitful, dishonest and corrupt”.

He said they had failed to act with honesty and integrity by manufacturing €7.2bn in deposits in what were obviously “sham transactions”.

The deals were done in September 2008 in order to make Anglo’s books look healthier than they actually were.

Serious matter

Judge Nolan said that it was a serious matter than two blue chip companies conspired together to manipulate public accounts.

He said that individual depositors and investors relied on and made decisions based on the public accounts of companies.

He said that if the public cannot rely on probity of blue chip companies and banks we lose all trust in them. He said that money was important to people, especially to older people who have nest eggs invested in banks.

“They are entitled to rely on honesty and integrity. In this case honesty and integrity were sorely lacking,” Judge Nolan said.

He said this conspiracy potentially affected thousands of people and that the starting point for his sentence was eight years.

The judge said that certain State authorities turned a blind eye to “optically driven balance sheet management” which he said was a euphemism for banks entering into transactions which have little or no effect.

Evidence

The evidence during the trial was that Bowe believed the attitude of Financial Regulator was one of “I’m not looking” and that Casey became involved with the transactions after being told by the regulator that Irish banks needed to “don the green jersey” and help each other out during the unprecedented global credit crunch.

Judge Nolan said that Anglo’s former CEO, David Drumm, was the driving force behind the scheme. He also said that it beggared belief that Anglo’s auditors Ernst&Young (now EY) had signed off on Anglo’s end of year accounts.

“They should have known what was occurring if they were doing their job properly,” he said, and commented as to whether it was a case of “blindness or wilful blindness”.

Not guilty pleas

Bowe from Glasnevin, Dublin, McAteer of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary and Casey from Raheny, Dublin had all pleaded not guilty to conspiring together and with others to defraud by setting up a €7.2 billion circular transaction scheme between March 1st and September 30th, 2008 to bolster Anglo’s balance sheet with the intention of misleading investors.

On day 89 of the longest running criminal trial in the State’s history a jury convicted Casey. They had already returned guilty verdicts on Bowe and McAteer a week earlier. The jury deliberated for a total of 65 hours.

Jailing McAteer for three and a half years, Judge Nolan said he had authorised the transactions when he knew what he was doing was underhand, deceitful and corrupt. He said he was a respected leader of huge experience whose actions in 2008 were reprehensible.

He told Bowe that his was the chief man in Anglo’s Treasury room and he had failed to act with honesty. He told him that in law following orders was no defence.

He imposed a two year sentence on Bowe, telling him the lower sentence was because he was “a lesser functionary” and not a board member.

He told Casey that he had made a grave error of judgement in authorising the transaction with Anglo. He said he was a man who should have known better. He jailed him for two years and nine months after telling him that Anglo were the authors of the scheme but that he had behaved disgracefully and reprehensibly in co-operating with it.

Casey told gardaí that he only agreed to the short term loans with Anglo on condition that there was no risk to his company and that he did not know or intend that Anglo would misrepresent the loans as customer deposits.

McAteer is the only one of the three to have a previous conviction. He was convicted in 2014 of providing unlawful loans from Anglo Irish Bank to ten property developers, dubbed the ‘Maple Ten’, in July 2008 in breach of Section 60 of the Companies Act.

He carried out 240 hours of community service in lieu of a two-year prison sentence.

The court also heard that McAteer had a large shareholding in Anglo that was once very valuable and had lost “tens of millions” of euro when the shares collapsed in value.

Judge Nolan said that none of the men had gained from the scheme and that there was no loss to the State or the banks as the inter-bank loans cancelled each other out.

Originally published 6.04am

Read: Former CEO of Irish Life and Permanent convicted of €7.2 billion conspiracy to defraud

————————————

Anglo trial: Three ex-bankers jailed over €7bn fraud

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

 

Irish Times: Friday, July 29, 2016, 12:29

Three former bankers have been handed prison sentences for their roles in a €7 billion fraud.

Former Anglo Irish Bank executive Willie McAteer has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail while his Anglo colleague John Bowe was given a two year term.

Denis Casey, the former group chief executive of Irish Life and Permanent, has been jailed for two years and nine months.

The three men did not react when the sentences were handed down. They conferred briefly with their lawyers before being led out of court through a side-door.

McAteer briefly glanced at judge Martin Nolan when he confirmed all three men would receive prison sentences, but otherwise the three former bankers stared at the floor throughout the hearing.

The judge said he imposed a two year sentence on Bowe, telling him the lower sentence was because he was “a lesser functionary” and not a board member.

The three men have 28 days to lodge a notice of intention to appeal the sentences.

Last June, a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court convicted Bowe (52) and McAteer (65), and the former Group Chief Executive of Irish Life and Permanent plc (ILP), Casey (56) of conspiring to make Anglo’s books look €7.2 billion healthier than they actually were.

The three men were involved in setting up a circular scheme of billion euro transactions where Anglo moved money to ILP and ILP sent the money back, via their assurance firm Irish Life Assurance, to Anglo.

The scheme was designed so that the deposits came from the assurance company and would be treated as customer deposits, which are considered a better measure of a bank’s strength than inter-bank loans.

‘Dishonest, deceitful and corrupt’

Handing down the sentences after the longest running criminal trial in Irish history, judge Martin Nolan said the transactions at the heart of the case were “dishonest, deceitful and corrupt”, adding: “There is no other way of describing it.”

He said they were “sham transactions”.

“All they did was to create the impression that Anglo Irish Bank had€7.2 billion more in corporate deposits than it had.”

People were entitled to rely on the public accounts published by companies, the judge said.

While he was “very much aware of the involvement and non-involvement of State authorities” and of the broader background to the case, the judge said he regarded the offences as “very, very serious.”

“The public is entitled to rely on the probity of blue-chip companies and blue-chip banks… If we cannot rely on blue-chip banks, we lose trust in institutions.”

Members of the public were entitled to expect “integrity and honesty” from big firms. “Honesty and integrity was sorely lacking in these transactions,” he added.

Judge Nolan described McAteer as a man of “huge experience” who was a board member of Anglo and close to the leadership of the institution.

His actions in relation to the transactions at the centre of the case were “grossly reprehensible” and “a huge error of judgment”.

‘Saving the bank isn’t everything’

“I can appreciate the desperation of the moment. I can appreciate that everyone at Anglo wanted to save the bank. But saving the bank isn’t everything.”

Judge Nolan said Bowe was the “de facto treasurer” of the Anglo at the relevant time. “He was the chief man in the treasury room,” the judge said.

“He should have known what he was doing.”

In law, the judge said, following orders was not a defence. “If Mr Bowe had told them not to do it, he would have fulfilled his function.” He did not do that, the judge added.

The judge described Casey’s decision to involve himself “to help a fellow Irish institution” as “a grave error of judgment”, adding: “He was a man who should have known better.”

In his remarks, which took just over 20 minutes to deliver before a packed but silent courtroom number nine, Judge Nolan also said it “beggared belief” that the accounting firm Ernst and Young had signed off on Anglo’s interim accounts.

“They should have known what was happening if they did their job properly,” he said. “It seems incomprehensible how these accounts were signed.”

He said he did not know if it was blindness or wilful blindness.

Judge Nolan said the transactions carried out by the three former bankers did not cause the collapse of the Irish banking industry. Nor did the banks lose money as a result of the transactions.

“But what they did nonetheless was extremely wrong.”

In view of the seriousness of the crimes, the judge said, he had to impose prison sentences on all three men.

He said he did this while taking into account all that they and their families had suffered, and the adverse effect their convictions would have on their records and their futures.

He said he had taken into account that the three men did not profit from the transactions. “All three men acted in what they thought would be in the interests of their companies,” he said.

He also took into account their backgrounds, what they had achieved in life and what they had done for their communities. They were “good, honourable men who contributed to their families, their communities and their companies,” he said.

The judge acknowledged the three men had lost their jobs and had been subjected to “public odium and ridicule”, while their lengthy trial had been “a very stressful experience”.

On the background to the case, the judge recalled 2008 was “a chaotic year in the financial world”, that there was “dysfunction” in financial markets and that people in the industry were under stress.

“These crimes came out of that background,” he said.

The judge said his “starting point” in sentencing in the case was eight years.

Longest running criminal trial

Bowe from Glasnevin, Dublin, McAteer of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary and Casey from Raheny, Dublin had all pleaded not guilty.

On day 89 of the longest running criminal trial in the State’s history a jury convicted Casey. They had already returned guilty verdicts on Bowe and McAteer a week earlier. The jury deliberated for a total of 65 hours.

Sentencing McAteer to three and a half years, Judge Nolan said he had authorised the transactions when he knew what he was doing was underhand, deceitful and corrupt. He said he was a respected leader of huge experience whose actions in 2008 were reprehensible.

He told Bowe that his was the chief man in Anglo’s Treasury room and he had failed to act with honesty. He told him that in law following orders was no defence. He imposed a two year sentence on Bowe, telling him the lower sentence was because he was “a lesser functionary” and not a board member.

He told Casey that he had made a grave error of judgement in authorising the transaction with Anglo. He said he was a man who should have known better. He jailed him for two years and nine months after telling him that Anglo were the authors of the scheme but that he had behaved disgracefully and reprehensibly in co-operating with it. Casey told gardaí that he only agreed to the short term loans with Anglo on condition that there was no risk to his company and that he did not know or intend that Anglo would misrepresent the loans as customer deposits.

Previous conviction

McAteer is the only one of the three to have a previous conviction. He was convicted in 2014 of providing unlawful loans from Anglo Irish Bank to 10 property developers, dubbed the “Maple Ten”, in July 2008 in breach of Section 60 of the Companies Act. He carried out 240 hours of community service in lieu of a two year prison sentence.

The court also heard that McAteer had a large shareholding in Anglo that was once very valuable and had lost “tens of millions” of euro when the shares collapsed in value.

Judge Nolan said that none of the men had gained from the scheme and that there was no loss to the State or the banks as the inter-bank loans cancelled each other out.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

———————————————————-

State had intimate knowledge that the two banks were helping each other out

 

SB POST   By Tom LyonsJun 19, 2016

Official files and secret notes reveal that a €7 billion fraud that led to the criminal conviction of three bankers earlier this month was “potentially based on encouragement” from the Central Bank, The Sunday Business Post can reveal.

The secret documents reveal how the state had intimate knowledge that the two banks were helping each other out during the financial crisis in order to make their balance sheets appear stronger to investors and the stock market.

The day before Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised in January 2009, Con Horan, the regulator’s then prudential director, told a high-powered meeting that his banking watchdog had an “awareness” that the bank was “working together” with Irish Life & Permanent, using what was called “back-to-back loans”.

He then told senior Department of Finance, NTMA and Central Bank officials that this working relationship was “potentially based on encouragement from Dame Street”.

Horan said he was meeting the bank’s auditors to discuss the arrangement. He also explained how the circular transaction worked in January 2009 in order to use money from IL&P to boost Anglo’s customer deposits.

Horan was asked by Mary O’Dea, another senior official in the Central Bank, whether or not the €7 billion deal would have to be disclosed in Anglo’s accounts.

Horan said: “Auditors are comfortable… Current accounts will have lot more disclosures.”

On February 25, 2009 documents marked “secret” by the Financial Regulator also saw the state’s banking watchdog admit internally that Anglo and IL&P bankers might be able to argue that the €7 billion fraud was only carried out because of “encouragement”.

In a document prepared for its board, the regulator admitted: “There is also information available that might be argued to support a defence against accusations of market abuse, specifically in relation to knowledge within the Financial Regulator/Central Bank, but also more generally in relation to the role of the Department of Finance, Central Bank and Financial Regulator encouraging institutions to co-operate with each other in extremely difficult circumstances where the very existence of the Irish financial system was in some doubt.”

There is also evidence in notes kept of meetings of the Domestic Standing Group – made up of the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator – that the state was monitoring how Anglo and IL&P were working together in the months before the €7 billion fraud.

On June 10, 2008 a note of a DSG meeting involving Patrick Neary, the financial regulator, Horan, Kevin Cardiff, then assistant secretary of the Department of Finance, and Brian Halpin of the Central Bank shows that the state discussed Irish Life & Permanent’s balance sheet in detail just prior to its half-year results to the stock market.

The DSG notes say that the state knew that Anglo was putting several billion onto IL&P’s balance sheet just prior to its year-end in order to make IL&P’s financial position look stronger.

The notes say that in relation to IL&P it expected just before its reporting date in June 2008 to receive “2 billion from Anglo (maybe 3) – short-term”.

Neary states that any support “has to be commercial”.

Horan is also described as saying a senior IL&P executive had already been told to be “careful in use of language”.

The DSG then discusses replacing Gillian Bowler, a former travel agent, as chairperson of the stockmarket-listed IL&P.

“Changing chair is high risk,” the DSG noted before discussing the possibility of requesting David Went, the former chief executive of IL&P, to take on her job.

However, Paul O’Higgins (for the DPP) brought an application at an early stage in the trial to prevent any evidence about the Financial Regulator’s knowledge or otherwise of the fraud being put to the jury.

“Now, there’s no doubt about it, the regulator had a fair degree of knowledge what was going on here,” Judge Nolan concluded.

“He certainly had a fair degree of knowledge of the June transaction and I think from the conversations involving some of the employees of the regulator, they certainly had a knowledge of what had occurred in March . . . So, the regulator did know to a degree what was going on, but the regulator cannot condone criminal behaviour. It doesn’t give a defence to any party that they knew about it . . . ”

In comments to the jury, Judge Martin Nolan said that the origins of Irish Life & Permanent working with Anglo Irish Bank could be traced back to the Central Bank’s concern that IL&P was too reliant on funding from the European Central Bank and what would happen if this was disclosed to the stock market.

“Now, the ironic thing, if you want to call it that, it seems from the interview, from what everybody said, that Mr Casey was happy enough with his image before he met Mr (John) Hurley (the governor of the Central Bank) and Mr Hurley changed all of that. Mr Hurley wasn’t happy with his image.”

 

 

Sentencing of Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent Top Dog Fraudsters Adjourned until Friday

Thousands lost their life savings due to the fraud!

Wed July 27,2016

Is there a dirty deal between the Government and the Defendants To Protect the state from compensation claims?

At the sentence hearing on Monday Last, defence pointed out that there was no loss to the bank or to the state due to the fraud

There are no reports of the Prosecution on behalf of the Government pointing out that thousands of small investors were defrauded of their life savings

There were several high ranking character witnesses called in support of mitigation of sentence by the defence

But there were no victim impact statements given though these are criminal convictions

Prosecutor O’Higgins SC,for the prosecution (State),  told the judge that the maximum effective sentence was ten years according to newspaper reports

But  no  demand for the maximum sentence to be applied was reported.

The defense on behalf of the convicted bankers did not call the then regulator, the then governor of the central bank, the then secretary general of the Department of Finance

Have the defence, instructed by the bankers and the government (who instructs the prosecuting lawyers) done a deal to prevent small investors getting their money back???

Lawyers for the defendants and the Government must take instructions from their clients unless such instructions are illegal, unethical or in breach of court rules.

Hence the players in any deal are not the lawyers but the government and the convicted bankers.

Noonan’s Non Reply To Seamus Healy TD in Dáil: Will Small Shareholders be Compensated??

QUESTION NO:  115

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)
by Deputy Seamus Healy for WRITTEN ANSWER on 23/06/2016

To ask the Minister for Finance if he will recommend that small shareholders be compensated by the State at least to the extent of the entitlement of depositors under the Bank Deposit Guarantee Scheme, given the conviction of two former executives of Anglo-Irish Bank on a charge of conspiring to defraud investors, that Government and his Department, the Office of The Regulator and the Central Bank were all aware of the relevant transaction in advance of the publication of the misleading accounts of the affairs of the bank and the other evidence and remarks of the Judge in Court (details supplied see further down); and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY.

As previously outlined to the Deputy in my answer to parliamentary question number 108 on 16th June 2016, Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised on 15 January 2009 and on that date the Minister for Finance acquired all of the ordinary and preference share capital by virtue of the provisions of the Anglo Irish Bank Act 2009, therefore, as of that date, the ownership of the shares in Anglo Irish Bank would have transferred to the Minister for Finance. If the Government had not nationalised Anglo Irish Bank, the Bank had the potential to collapse and impact on the entire Irish banking system. At that time, shares were valued on the market  in the region of €0.22, however in the event of the Bank failing, Anglo Irish Bank s shares would have been worthless.

Sections 22-32 of the Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Act 2009 provide that the Minister for Finance shall appoint an Assessor at an appropriate time having regard to the public interest. The job of the Assessor is to independently determine the fair and reasonable aggregate value, if any, of the transferred shares and extinguished rights and the consequent amount of compensation, if any, that may be payable to persons in respect of Anglo Irish Bank shares transferred and rights extinguished under the Act. Since the liquidation of IBRC in February 2013, there has been no timeframe set for the appointment of an Assessor.

An update on the liquidation of IBRC can be found at http://www.finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Progress%20update%20report_31%20Dec%202015_0.pdf

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme (“DGS”) was established to protect depositors in the event of a bank, building society or credit union authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland being unable to repay deposits. The DGS is part of the Central Bank of Ireland s strategy to ensure that the best interests of consumers of financial services are protected. The DGS is administered by the Central Bank of Ireland and is funded by the credit institutions covered by the scheme. The DGS was not established to protect equity investors.

 

 

Detail Supplied: “In a document prepared for its board, the regulator admitted: “There is also information available that might be argued to support a defence against accusations of market abuse, specifically in relation to knowledge within the Financial Regulator/Central Bank, but also more generally in relation to the role of the Department of Finance, Central Bank and Financial Regulator encouraging institutions to co-operate with each other in extremely difficult circumstances where the very existence of the Irish financial system was in some doubt.”

There is also evidence in notes kept of meetings of the Domestic Standing Group – made up of the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator – that the state was monitoring how Anglo and IL&P were working together in the months before the €7 billion fraud.-Sunday Business Post, 19/06/2016

Full Report

http://www.businesspost.ie/damning-files-reveal-central-banks-role-in-e7bn-banking-fraud/

Business Post   19/06/2016

  Remarks of Judge in Court

“These were classic back-to-back transactions, done for public optics only,” the judge said in his February ruling. He said he believed the regulator “condoned optics-based balance sheet management” as it did not want Irish banks to “go down”. The Irish authorities were frightened by what they had seen with Northern Rock and they had seen central banks in other jurisdictions help their banking systems.

Neary and Hurley were “hands on” and entirely involved in the effort to save the Irish banking system, the judge said. They had put the green jersey into Casey’s mind, and Casey had acted on it.  Colm Keena, Irish Times, June 9,2016

Mr Peter  Fitzpatrick (Irish Life and Permanent) who was acquitted of the conspiracy to defraud investors said in a statement to gardai quoted in court:

“He said that prior to January 2009, ILP never received any request for clarification from Anglo or its auditors, the then financial regulator Patrick Neary or the then Central Bank governor John Hurley

‘Political expediency’

“I feel that the matter was dealt with as a matter of political expediency with no reference to the substance of the transaction.

“I believe that the actions of the [financial] regulator post 30 September 2008 effectively shows [sic] that he tacitly if not explicitly approved such actions. Without this understanding the transaction would have in all certainty not have taken place,” he told gardaí­.—Declan Brennan,Irish Times, , May 5, 2016, 18:07

 On one end of the line was John Bowe, Anglo’s head of capital markets. At the other was Mary Elizabeth Donoghue from the Office of the Financial Regulator.

The call occurred on October 28, 2008, weeks before publication of Anglo’s preliminary results on December 3, 2008. Critically, it also came weeks after the execution of a spectacular €7.2bn scheme of circular transactions between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent…..

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” said Donoghue as Bowe explained the motivation behind the balance sheet window dressing exercise, insisting it had nothing to do with the liquidity crisis then engulfing banks around the globe, including our own.

The conversation included this exchange:

Bowe: “This was purely about avoiding an issue of confidence in the bank.”

Donoghue: “Yeah, so it looked like an asset manager had placed money with yourselves?”

Bowe “Exactly.”

Donoghue “It forms part of the… the customer deposit, yeah.”

Bowe: “Exactly.”

Donoghue: “Yeah. That’s fine, that’s grand, that’s what I – even my limited reading of it now that’s what I read it to be and I just wanted – let’s not get too excited about what’s happening here and let’s call it what it is. That’s fine.”      Dearbhail McDonald Legal editor, Sunday Independent, 12/06/2016

 

 

 

————————————————————————-

Sunday July 24

Has a Dirty Deal Been Hatched Between Defene and Prosecution (the Government) to Protect the Elites?

Will the then regulator, the then head of the central bank, the then secretary of the Department of Finance be called (by sub-poena) to give evidence as to whether they encouraged the fraudsters or simply allowed the fraud to continue? Had they full advance knowledge?

The stench is rising!

Damning files reveal Central Bank’s role in €7bn banking fraud – The Sunday Business Post

MINISTER NOONAN FAILS TO ANSWER DEMAND FOR COMPENSATION FOR SMALL SHAREHOLDERS IN ANGLO BY SEAMUS HEALY TD IN DAIL REPLY TO PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION-PENSIONERS, REDUNDANT WORKERS DEFRAUDED

Government, Department of Finance had Full Knowledge!!

<!– [if lt IE 9]> http://www.businesspost.ie/wp-content/themes/smart-mag/js/html5.js <![endif]–>

“Official files and secret notes reveal that a €7 billion fraud that led to the criminal conviction of three bankers earlier this month was “potentially based on encouragement” from the Central Bank, The Sunday Business Post can reveal.

The secret documents reveal how the state had intimate knowledge that the two banks were helping each other out during the financial crisis in order to make their balance sheets appear stronger to investors and the stock market.

The day before Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised in January 2009, Con Horan, the regulator’s then prudential director, told a high-powered meeting that his banking watchdog had an “awareness” that the bank was “working together” with Irish Life & Permanent, using what was called “back-to-back loans”.

He then told senior Department of Finance, NTMA and Central Bank officials that this working relationship was “potentially based on encouragement from Dame Street”.

Horan said he was meeting the bank’s auditors to discuss the arrangement. He also explained how the circular transaction worked in January 2009 in order to use money from IL&P to boost Anglo’s customer deposits.

Horan was asked by Mary O’Dea, another senior official in the Central Bank, whether or not the €7 billion deal would have to be disclosed in Anglo’s accounts.

Horan said: “Auditors are comfortable… Current accounts will have lot more disclosures.”

On February 25, 2009 documents marked “secret” by the Financial Regulator also saw the state’s banking watchdog admit internally that Anglo and IL&P bankers might be able to argue that the €7 billion fraud was only carried out because of “encouragement”–

“In a document prepared for its board, the regulator admitted: “There is also information available that might be argued to support a defence against accusations of market abuse, specifically in relation to knowledge within the Financial Regulator/Central Bank, but also more generally in relation to the role of the Department of Finance, Central Bank and Financial Regulator encouraging institutions to co-operate with each other in extremely difficult circumstances where the very existence of the Irish financial system was in some doubt.”

There is also evidence in notes kept of meetings of the Domestic Standing Group – made up of the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator – that the state was monitoring how Anglo and IL&P were working together in the months before the €7 billion fraud…. SB POST

Full Article:

http://www.businesspost.ie/damning-files-reveal-central-banks-role-in-e7bn-banking-fraud/

Business Post   19/06/2016

Categories: Uncategorized