This use of the NPRF has provoked the most bewildering criticism of all from parties who, having for years fundamentally disagreed with the very existence of the Fund, have now become its most ardent protectors. And on this point the arguments make absolutely no sense. Why would we borrow expensively to invest in our banks when we have money in a cash deposit earning a low rate of interest? And how on earth can we ask tax payers in other countries to contribute to a financial support package while we hold a sovereign wealth fund? We have a large problem with our banks which has forced us to seek this external assistance. In these circumstances, it is surely appropriate that our cash reserves should be deployed to help solve that problem.
Brian Lenihan TD, Minister for Finance