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Cowen: Bank bailout cash 'will not be returned' to Irish taxpayers

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has admitted that taxpayers will never get back the 22 billion euro pumped into Anglo Irish Bank.

The revelation sparked fury from the Opposition benches in the Dail with demands that public money stop being poured into a "black hole".

Under pressure, Mr Cowen confirmed remarks from the nationalised bank's chief executive Mike Aynsley last week that the "lion's share" of the Anglo bailout will "never be seen again".

"It's clear that in relation to where shareholders' funds aren't sufficient to meet the losses of the bank - and where the taxpayer had to come in to fill those losses - they are the losses being taken on by the taxpayer," he said.

"It's clear in relation to that bank, that is the situation."

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said Mr Cowen made a personal promise to the Irish people in October 2008 - at the time of the bank guarantee scheme - that they would not be held accountable for the banking bailout.

He questioned why the Government was now borrowing vast sums to pay off Anglo debts while professional shareholders weren't being asked to share the pain.

"It makes absolutely no sense for the government to continue with the policy of borrowing money to put into a black hole," he said.

Mr Kenny said 11 billion euro to be cut from public project spending cuts over the next three years would cost 40,000 jobs.

Yet, creating employment was the only way out of the crisis, he said.

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