TAKE ALL the money raised this year by the cuts in child benefit. And from cutting the school clothing and footwear allowance. And all the cuts to jobseekers’ benefit, rent supplement and fuel allowances for the elderly.
Throw in the restriction of one-parent family allowance to children under seven. Pile on all the cuts in back-to-education allowances and community employment schemes. Take all of that money from the pockets of the poorest people in Ireland this year and you still haven’t reached the amount Seán Quinn agrees he owes the Irish taxpayer.
This is nothing to do with the €2.3 billion he borrowed from Anglo Irish Bank to buy its shares. This is the €455 million he borrowed to buy property – using that property as security. In all the noise and distraction, this much is undisputed: Quinn borrowed the money and put up the property assets as collateral. The State, however idiotically, took over that loan. Since Quinn can’t pay it back, the Irish people now own those properties.