Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Food Sovereignty and Water Security Proposal

Richard C Cook and his wife Karen, Valentia Island, 2013 after I interviewed him for my radio show. He actually worked on the original Star Wars programme, for NASA. They are diamonds and Richard is a man dedicated to educating people in the risks of the corporate banking structure and helping implement systemic change, to Credit as A Public Utility.

This hasn't been discussed on any level yet, except in 1) formulating it with my friend Richard C Cook who is a monetary reform expert and 2) running this first draft past another friend in finance... from which the letter that follows the proposal was inspired. Last week, I sent that letter to every TD and Senator in government. I believe everyone needs to know at least as much as I do about banking, economics and protecting ourselves from a controlling debt millstone around our necks for the rest of time and generations to come.

My reason for sharing this proposal is that I would love to hear what families, individuals and local businesses would need money wise and what they are prepared to do to face the recovery challenges from the pandemic lock down; to reach and push for  climate action goals; and to maintain what they've found in the way of quality of life, having had this break from work and life as it was.

Proposal by Frances Micklem
Harmony Hall Think Tank, Kilkenny.

Food Security and UBI Programme financed by A New Public Bank, with Land and Water Resources as its Reserve Basis. 

I was asked to develop a sovereignty food economic policy. One of the policies in the Green Party manifesto is introducing a universal basic income. Ireland has a real opportunity to implement the policy as 550,000 people are suddenly on income support/corona virus benefit for ex-employed/or job seeker's allowance, having been laid off. Probably about 50% are on the usual €180 a week and there is a special payment of €350 a week for those suddenly in trouble, like self employed. The big players like supermarkets, meat, dairy, pharma and tech are all carrying on as normaI therefore it is all the skilled, ethical and smaller enterprises that have closed down. This is hopefully temporarily but many have lost all their money, business and staff. It is a good opportunity to think about recovery. I understand that Ireland is going to borrow 3 billion to aid that recovery.

The question I asked was:  how can we shift Ireland’s benefits system and recovery budget into a UBI (Universal Basic Income) in such a way that it could support all the sustainable projects in getting back off the ground. Secondly, could it even be scaled up, in order to meet environmental targets/agreements and food security matters. We have the land and the imagination but we will be starting from scratch. 

The first thing to do is to investigate is Public Banking and also look at public banking in Germany. We will have to implement UBI through a public banking set-up.
I am talking about much more than UBI. 

But UBI can be utilized to capitalize a network of local public development banks. 

I would also add that the idea of Ireland borrowing $3B for recovery is fraught with danger. Whoever it is from, it's a mortgage on Ireland's future. 

The programme needs to be rooted in an aspect of the real productive economy. The basis should be subsistence family farming plus spinoffs in local manufacturing and supply.

That makes sense with the move towards food sovereignty, that food supply is secure even with disruptions present and future to the supply chain. 

A way to proceed would be to contact all the closed businesses, organic, artisan, ethical, creative and small farmers and producers to work on their Start Up business plans: What they would need to start from scratch; what they will owe and to whom and also their business proposals to include a 'why' component, for example that they are feeding themselves, producing something for sale locally, looking after someone or something or reducing harmful practices.

Subsistence farming is 'mainly produce for oneself with little surplus'. Small farmers and organic growers myself tend to think how to up-skill and scale up their productivity, via reliable growing methods to provide a community resource but actually it is always the scaling up and trying to profit from surplus that leads to 1) exploitation (land and animals) and 2) people to overstretch themselves (physically and financially) and get into debt with more animals to house and feed, more automation, more vet, agri-chemical and bank payments etc. 

The Universal Basic Income programme and local land management and food production would go brilliantly. The main block will be that farmer's main money comes from European grants and they have to pay them straight out again, to vets and vaccinations and agrochemicals They are currently not offered any incentives for spraying less or moving towards better welfare or organic methods. The meat and dairy industries set the tone. It would take some power from them if there was an alternative slaughter avenue, like an ‘at home’ service and if people mainly had small holdings. The meat industry’s main leverage is that they decide when and whether to take farmer’s animals, sometimes only one or two at a time and for how much, including what weight of animal is too heavy, which in the past might have made extra money for the farmer. There is a high level of non-compliance in weighing-machines at factories to further compound the problem. 

The key to success is not to worry about the existing big industries or take them on. Instead, just connect the UBI programme to a raise in self-sufficiency or practical contribution by recipients.

The banking schemes and European grants don't have much interest for our purposes in this. They just funnel money upward through the existing commercial banking system and normally are only useful during an expanding economy; otherwise the loans are paid off through general inflation. 

Any Corona Virus recovery loan, innovation and agricultural loans are not really to help out businesses but are to get through what the EU assumes are going to be fairly short/mild impacts of climate changes, financial markets changing and pandemic.

UBI implementation

We can have UBI by direct spending against a community dividend account, without taxation and without government debt, but it could only be implemented EU-wide. The EU would not allow the Central Bank of Ireland to do it on our own. There is a case for bringing this proposal to governments in other European countries though as they are also facing into the prospect of borrowing my money from the IMF.

Another route that Ireland is free to implement is clearly formulate our primary goal which should be the creation/facilitation/encouragement of a solid subsistence economy rooted in the land. There are already quite a few families who live this way now as best they can, though it usually involves one or more members taking outside jobs. 

The problem in boosting this sector, as an economic base, is the lack of working capital for business operations and investment. We are not considering here the professional agricultural sector which has their own world of bank-financed operations with the pluses and minuses that go with that; i.e., agribusiness, characterized as running on loans with money that is then paid out for all kinds of technical overhead. Those farms are integrated into the EU and are often export-oriented.

Instead, this proposal is to make sustainable subsistence-plus market farming a viable and growing sector of the economy. Around such farms a village economy can re-form that includes markets for the excess farming production and local goods and services that the surrounding farms can utilize. Over time, this sector would completely change the economic/social/spiritual life of the nation. 

A Sustainability Bank
It is critical to consider where the working capital would come from? It would come from a new nonprofit public bank, capitalized at the grassroots level by deposits made by individuals who receive government payments, plus whatever could be acquired from the national budget as grants and for operational costs. Over time, anyone borrowing from the bank would also become a depositor, with their loans being administered though the bank. 

Fractional Reserve Basis
An institution becomes a bank when it is allowed to operate on a fractional reserve basis. For instance, at a 10% reserve rate, if the bank has deposits of 1 million, it is allowed to loan 10 million. Let’s call it a Sustainability Bank. 

The advantage of a bank is this fractional reserve feature. A bank actually creates money. It's a delegation of a sovereign state power.

Avoiding Usury
How the bank's money is loaned becomes extremely important. Loans should be interest-free. This has to be an absolute. As soon as you introduce usury, which should be defined as any amount of interest on lending, the institution starts sucking money out of the locality, or it causes inflation because prices rise so people can pay their loans. These are just economic laws. The bank should be a government agency, staffed by professional civil servants paid by the central government. 

Debt-forgiveness should be available on liberal terms. No one should have their home foreclosed on for any reason, including fluctuations in markets or national economic shocks. Loans should be available for a wide variety of purposes, linked to local economic sustainability, so long as a certain proportion of output is marketed locally. Purely subsistence uses don't need to be funded by this route. As soon as possible, loans should be made available for purchase of land, homes and buildings. 
Irish Sustainable Enterprise
Farms and businesses participating in the programme should receive a designation, as, for instance, an "Irish Sustainable Enterprise," entitling them to specific defined privileges. Provisional ISE status could be granted to allow people to start borrowing from the Sustainability Bank, with full membership granted after, say, five years of successful participation.
Loans should be available at numerous locations nationally; one possibility may be to link them to larger postal centres.

The commercial banks may fight this programme tooth and nail and will think of all the reasons it could fail, possibly activating their large lobbying capability and pressure politicians so we will have to be prepared to fight a major political battle. However, most of the political parties have said that ‘We’re all green parties now’ and that means some of the urgency has filtered through.  Also, there may be less resistance to this new economic system as current socio-economic policies and the benefits system depend on a transfer of wealth from rich to poor and this doesn’t.

Existing Irish Establishments That Could Be Re-Purposed
 Considering the question of whether our Credit Unions system could be applicable. 

The Irish League of credit unions is an excellent institution for the purposes credit unions are designed to meet. Credit unions are to help workers survive in the midst of a global economy that may be heading into a worldwide depression. 

This proposal would in no way attempt to replace them. However, the purposes of a system of sustainability banks to foster a local land-based economy, consisting of both farms and village markets are much different. 

Shift in Economic Basis From Money To Land & Labour
The sustainability banks are to shift the economic basis from money to the land husbanded by skilled labour. Some might say that doing this would be like trying to go back to medieval times but we could still have the benefit of modernized technology.

The INTREO group, who distribute benefits currently, are a public body although they are ruthless, charitable and supportive at the same time.
This proposal is in no way replaced by INTREO. They offer a public service to support people out of work and get them back into the money-based global economy. It has nothing to do with any kind of economic development or sustainability. 

It has the merit of consolidating welfare and employment programmes but the detriment of having life or death control over people's lives, particularly working class, which explains the ruthless element.

How Participants Could Be Recruited
There are many and various sustainability and permaculture but it will be interesting to attempt to connect with these competent, independent citizens.
Previous efforts to co-ordinate local shopping groups (who can buy organic staple foods in bulk more economically and divide them when they arrive) and establish Community Supported Agriculture schemes (Where a group pay a farmer all year around to enjoy the benefits of the harvest when they arrive, sharing the risks and surplus, while supporting the farmer during out of season periods. Also Community Gardens (which are proven to help volunteers mentally, emotionally and physically, as well as providing an education venue and usually a considerable amount of produce and pollinator sanctuary.  

The difficulty has been that most people who are independent want to stay independent; for example freezing their excess tomatoes or keeping a pig for meat. The little differences in ethics, of small holding operations, ends up separating them. That is even though they have a lot in common. 

In addition, most small producers and farmers are completely disillusioned and shut down from politics and shut off from what or how anyone else is doing in their community. There are still people with land and most rural residential properties even still sit on an acre each, which could be highly productive.

Questions that would need to be considered are whether people would be 'invited' to participate, like any other funding opportunity? Would unemployed people be 'required' to think of what they're trained or interested in contributing to it? What are the reasons why people would or would not get a loan from a new sustainability bank and would or would not consider subsistence living, instead of returning to the employment market? There is certainly a massive increase in joy at being busy at home during the lock-down so people have some recent experience of both lifestyles to compare. Would it be optional or would it replace one of the existing payments? Is it as a Covid 19 recovery option? Could it be set up in time?

Would there would be an 'expectation', once the sustainability bank was set up that these communities should use it or would it all be done through legislation?

The Sustainability Bank may not fund the UBI initially but it would be an effective programme for them to start simultaneously at least, as it would facilitate the first entrepreneurs, enterprises re-starting and other resourceful, already semi-productive, local groups and individuals to continue planning and producing, even within the quarantine, rather than be under pressure to find a job, however unsuitable, as soon as the lock down is eased.

When we say that producers must ensure that 'a certain proportion is kept local', we will have to specify how much, as producers are always tempted to upscale and profit from further afield. The other side of that to discuss and decide is; if the proportion that farmers had to sell locally was NOT too tightly defined, it might mean that mid-sized farms could assign a small acreage, at a time, to sustainable production and increase it when they were confident that everything grew and sold alright, through the initiative.

It would be useful if the idea of subsistence could be developed to include benefits for abstaining. So that harmlessness rather than contribution goals counted? (Developing here the wider value system needed for weighing up what consumer needs are, health and environment etc versus the old simple calculation of whether an initiative is economically viable) For example, if a household moved away from consuming animal-based products and found a way to stop buying one-use plastics or eliminated the use of transport or chemicals etc? 

Going forward, the initiative could be widened to offer farms in the 'professional agriculture sector' a way out. At the moment, they may have been integrated into the EU  funding and export system but are actually massively in debt and stressed (having been given loans to double the national herd and equip their farms with automated, expensive equipment and machinery, only to be told they must now meet zero emissions and get less and less for their produce). The sustainability bank could offer them a way out of that? The government administration would have to carefully regulate what imported products are allowed as well – nothing grown with substances that are banned here, be they fungicides, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, artificial ripeners, chemical preservatives and flavour enhancers etc. 

Sanctuaries and a new wave of care/respite/charitable facilities could be considered of sufficient social value to receive a sustainability bank loan and extricate themselves from the current system competing for public contracts? For animals as well. At the moment, an animal shelter that wants to be a 'no kill' facility will lose it's small government stipend (2-20,000 per annum) whereas county dog and horse pounds command public funding up to 400,000 per annum and contracts go to carcass collection services and control units, with no welfare or rehoming policy and most notably some security companies without even an office in Ireland. Stray animals and retired dairy and other farm animals could be co-ordinated very differently as aspects of community production of manure, compost and renewable energy. In addition, loans to places that won't ever make money but provide a service or some other social good or enhancement will have to be worked out.

Most important will be consideration of who, exactly, decides what is of value in this new economic scheme? If senior civil servants are going to administer the initiative and new bank, it would be appropriate to have a comprehensive list and outline, from the beginning, to use as a precedent; a structure and range of activities that would count as Irish Sustainable Enterprises.

Limits of Proposal So Far
A proposal like this would benefit from a group working on it, for detail and development. However, as we are all on lock down and in need of urgent solutions, I wanted to share the basic idea, rather than only go through the slower policy channels that might not mean it reaches the coalition of people needed to bring it forward and make a sustainability bank system happen.

Bailout for the People
A public bank would provide a bailout for the people. There are so many who are not being supported in their important initiatives to change their ways of life, reduce carbon emissions, produce clean food or live minimally, avoid plastic. Most households before the pandemic had one person in the house, at least, having to go out to work, to pay bills. There is now a unique opportunity when these wage earners as well are rendered housebound, due to Covid 19, to explore the possibility for subsistence. 

A Stable and Reliable Capital Source For Food Security
But what would working capital include in this programme? What activities would be condidered worth funding and be tax-deductible?

Usually, working capital refers to cost of producing and processing inventory; things like purchasing seed and stock, feed and fertilizer, fuel, transfer to market, rental of market space, tools and equipment, etc.

A Sustainability Bank would provide a stable and reliable capital source for sovereignty food as I understand the term. The bank system could raise its reserve capital by sale of bonds to the Central Irish Bank.

The Sovereignty Food movement principles are sound but the question is always where's the money going to come from? The Sustainability Bank answers the question.  

It's simple, but we have been so brainwashed by the mythology and power of commercial banking that few can see it.

Bringing The Proposal of A Sustainability Bank to Europe
It might be a good contribution to develop this programme with a view to an EU-wide implementation. Italy's prime minister is desperate for help and has been refused by Germany. I'm sure Spain as well will be devastated and both have a good climate and a long food production tradition, where as we have the water. We have some great Irish MEPs at the moment both Independent and Green to provide a strong voice there. There is also a lot of pressure on Europe to meet the challenges of climate change, the pandemic and falling economies. There is also a strong branches of the Green Party in Europe in general. It could come to Brussels for discussion, from various different angles, serving different purposes for different country’s potential and needs.

Once the proposal has the political support, it will be crucial to host a conference for project definition. It cannot do everything so key must-have elements must be identified. 

A committee should be formed to scope out the proposal and for this it would be good to have 
1)   the early support from MEPs who can also help with introducing legislation. 
2)   A financial donor if we can find one. 
3)   Someone with knowledge of public central banking operations. 
4)   A publicist with media access. 
5)   Someone with an EU perspective. 
6)   A representative of the Irish sustainability culture. 
7)   A woman householder. 
8)   A young activist.
9)   Young Greens economist
10)A good facilitator. 
11)A technical expert. 
12)Representative of Social Justice Ireland
All must be committed, honest, without personal agendas or ego. Watch out for obstructionism. It's a time for leadership and followership. We need to have an initial conference of a few days, give assignments. Reconvene. Then draft a concise proposal that can be publicized.
13) Pilot projects in existing estates with walled gardens, market garden-sized polytunnels, out-of-work staff, local community and possibly CE schemes. For example, Discovery Park Castlecomer, Kilkenny (non profit education and local employer) and Duckett’s Grove Castle, Carlow – already under council’s management as a public amenity. 

My initial sense is that it would be better to start with Ireland. Then let it spread. The cornerstone is the land and the locality. It must be rooted. It will have to be legislated.  

Progress and Background

Please find to follow past articles mainly from The Public Banking Institute 

Six-part series from 2011 on Credit as a Public Utility:

2013 Talk on Gaia Plan for the Public Banking Institute:

Archived Articles from Global Research Website:

Global Research articles are here:

Monetary Interpretation of The Lord of the Rings:

Book: We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform is available here on Kindle:
We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform: Richard C. Cook: 9780980219067: Amazon.com: Books
We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform [Richard C. Cook] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In the wake of this U.S. economic meltdown, the mainstream population faces four possible futures: 1. Adjust and accept diminished prosperity

PBI’s Open Letter to Congress: A “Critical-Care” Bailout for Main Street in the Face of COVID-19 – Public Banking Institute
Honorable Members of the 116th United States Congress: The Public Banking Institute has been working since 2011 to return control of money and credit to states and communities and create a network of publicly-owned federal, state and municipal banks that would establish a safe, low-cost alternative to the current exploitative financial system controlled by Wall Street.

We don't have to say so explicitly at this stage but what we are really doing, and what we must do, is take back the sovereign power of money creation from the private bankers to whom the state ceded it during the last 500 years in a devil's bargain. Money and banking should be a public utility, not the means of enslaving people. Part of doing this is tying money to the organic God-given creativity of the land. (Whereas it was tied to the Golden Peg of what gold a country actually had and in current banking is simply tied to debt and no actual physical assets)

You will notice that all economic discourse takes the global privately owned banking and financial system for granted. All discussion is essentially about handouts that may fall from the Money Masters' table. Even UBI is about trickle down.  Many others in world history have recognized this before but they have been suppressed. We need to know what we are doing, to make this happen. 

Two possibilities to discuss from the ‘Bailout for the People’ article, are a Dividend Approach or something like the Alaskan Permanent Fund. They are both ways that recognize the prosperity of a country and ensure the people share in the benefit of it. 

All eyes will be on Ireland one day soon as we are the only country, possibly in the world already, that still gets enough rainfall. Even the UK has to impose a hosepipe ban every summer. We have been fighting the idea of paying for our water (as it was already included in another tax) but we should include water in this policy as much as land and food security. Like Norway did, when natural gas was found off their shores. The whole country benefited from the prosperity. I think, in addition, they don't pay for their share of the gas either. 

We gave all the rights to the gas, found here, to Shell.  (The only Irish benefit was that Shell accepted AXA Insurance’s quote – a mixed blessing as if anyone did succeed in bringing a claim against Shell, it would be an Irish company and money paying for the clean up). 
So, no dividends there.

Many industries and farmers have contaminated considerable amounts of fresh water here; we have all wasted a lot; we have been rained on and flooded a lot; therefore water is a hot topic here. However, it is not yet discussed in a sensible way that recognises that wars will be fought over it soon enough. 

Therefore, most importantly, a part of this proposal is that water is central to our economic policy. It should be the resource that pays dividends. The public sustainability bank should be rooted in water, equally to food and land, possibly even more so. To a country like ours, who has to meet climate targets, there would be an added advantage of putting a value on water: It would put pressure on polluting industries, as every individual would be invested in monitoring their water source and waterways and returning the water table, aquifers, sea and domestic systems to pristine. 

The participants and dividends could extend to city dwellers as well by a system where they manage their water use, use grey water systems, stop using chemical detergents or become minimalist in their usage and ‘sell units back to the grid’ or some such familiar exchange, like electricity. 

I anticipate that this policy could bring unity between parties, so there is no reason to confine it to the Green Party. Legislation will be needed so a broad coalition should be developed. It could also restore people’s faith in government and be a massive step in the direction of sustainability, social justice and food security.  Therefore, water resources should absolutely be a reserve basis for the Sustainability Bank. 

I hope this will suffice as an initial working paper and thanks for the invitation to propose a policy. 

How Exactly To Implement UBI Safely Through Public Banking

Dear all, 

This proposal was written in consultation with monetary reform expert and retired US Treasury Analyst, Richard C. Cook. (Author of a six part series: “Credit As A Public Utility” and the book: We Hold These Truths, The Hope of Monetary Reform). He wrote a UBI implementation policy for America’s Green Party 10 years ago, called The Cook Plan. 

Mr. Cook has developed the following plan adapted to Ireland, on request from Frances Micklem at Harmony Hall Think Tank, with whom he has been able to explore all the existing economic, agricultural, social and pandemic-related challenges here in Ireland and assess the risks and benefits of using existing infrastructure, benefits system and banking institutions. 

He found that theUBI must be implemented through a new Public Bank, and we have outlined how that bank can be capitalized, immediately and going forwards, to restore local economies, rather than increasing the national debt. 

Capitalizing The Bank, building trust in green economics and illustrating the benefits to all of green policies.

We propose three initial ways to capitalize the public bank/community bank or what we have called the Sustainability Bank. The first two sources are front-running Green Party proposals already. In addition to capitalization, initial administrative costs would be met from the state budget.

1) The Carbon Tax
 Firstly, the ring-fenced carbon tax. The benefit and necessity of a bank structure, to this proposal, is that a bank, by definition, can lend multiple times more money than it has in reserve.A reserve ratio of six to one to eight to one is recommended. If the carbon tax were put into the Sustainability Bank, it would effectively multiply the bank’s spending and lending power to the community. As its loans are repaid in full the actual reserves of the bank remain stable.

By using a portion of the reserve for administrative costs, once the bank is established, interest-free loans could be offered to sustainable initiatives starting up again or new. This would include sustainable farming serving local markets. In Germany, for example, the commercial banks have only 12% of the market. Here in Ireland, 99% of mortgages and 95% of small business loans are with our five commercial banks. An estimated 40% of the cost of European goods is to pay interest to banks and other parts of the global financial system. Implementation of a public Sustainability Bank would cut out the expenses of bank interest for small farms/growers/services and local market economies. Building local communities would reduce destructive emissions from transporting, while also building food security and monitoring bigger polluters. Customers of this bank would have this monitoring and responsibility function, as they would all have invested in the Sustainability Charter and would be keen to expose industry emissions non-compliance.

Government must detail further toxic and wasteful activities to which the carbon tax will soon apply. For example, use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, manufacture and sale of products containing microplastics, excessive use or contamination of fresh water and automation in large food plants – I refer to Pasta Concepts that I know of but it is commonplace – that produce over a tonne of pasta every lunch time that is wasted as they leave the machines running but all take a lunch break simultaneously. Also limitation of run-off from intensive farms, if accounted for, would encourage a reduction in herd numbers and exploitation. 

In addition to taxation, there must be a clear ban on the import of products by supermarkets, which have been produced using substances banned here in Ireland or our farmers will continue not to stand a chance of selling their harvested crops. 

Re. the Carbon Dividend Policy: Meat exporters should not have their carbon tax rebated as soon as they have a customer receipt outside the state (The Carbon Dividend Policy currently suggests this in a foot note on the first page.), as it is promoting export which the party is trying to stop. Only individuals should be considered for concessions and rebates, not businesses. Businesses and corporations will pass on their extra carbon costs to the consumer anyway. If the tax works and emissions are reduced, the bank structure will ensure that the public Sustainability Bank is still making money, through its other functions and because dividends aren’t reduced as less carbon tax becomes payable.

2) Welfare and Covid-19 Emergency Payments
The second way of capitalizing the public Sustainability Bank is by the welfare and emergency payments. To shift them into a UBI payment, they should be paid, from the start, to recipients throughthe public bank. This would ensure another large investment; several hundred thousand passing through the new bank each week. All payments should stand at €350 a week across the board. This guarantees a massively positive association in people’s minds that the Green Party’s UBI and carbon tax plan succeeded in substantially raising their benefits and quality of life. 

The UBI can then actually be described and seen asthe dividend that government has talked of that every citizen will receive. Not a little bit here and there, but the Green Party will have facilitated a reliable unconditional basic income, considerably greater than current Job Seekers allowance and valuing all citizens equally, while giving them the chance to build self-sufficiency, subsistence and community-living, care and service into their post-Covid working lives.

So first, we must get legislation in place for the public Sustainability Bank. There is no time to waste, as many experts believe the economic recession resulting from the pandemic will have severe and long-lasting effects on all nations, including the EU and US. To meet an uncertain future without plunging into massive debt and mortgaging its future for decades, Ireland needs the public Sustainability Bank, the UBI, and food and water security to be in place immediately. 

Nor will the Irish taxpayer have to bail out the five “pillar banks” again, from whom we will otherwise have had to borrow 3 billion at high interest rates, as has been proposed as a recovery plan. We also explain how quantitative easing is still a version of commercial banking (as is the State-owned Corporate Strategic Bank started in 2015) and how massive borrowing in the global commercial marketplace will devastate Ireland’s future. In fact, Ireland is facing national bankruptcy if we must mortgage our future to the global financial system just to get over the pandemic. 

Additionally, the public Sustainability Bank will quickly have the ability to aid sustainable projects to recover and finance new enterprises for people, unable to return to the workforce, with a basic income. This will also allow Ireland to move toward food self-sufficiency, with a target of 75%.

A public Sustainability Bank doesn’t depend on pure credit, lending and interest but is rooted in Ireland’s real resources of land and water. The bank charter would include how loan decisions should be based on preservation, food security, sustainable production facilities, services and skills. Therefore it will support productivity and/or reduction in harmful activities/materials. 

3) Water, land and skilled labour as reserve basis for the Sustainability Bank.
A crucial proposition we have made is to include water as a reserve basis for the Sustainability Bank. It plays across the broad macro economics of food supply, within which access to clean sustainable water supply is recognized as a crucial resource dependence. In leveraging this theme to the maximum, we have started to articulate how a public Sustainability Bank would leverage water as a collateral / asset base in the proposal, for coastal, rural and city dwellers. 

Thus there will be less and less need for people or the government to borrow from commercial banks and increase our debt, thereby risking Ireland’s future for generations to come.  

Please do not hesitate to ask any questions or to arrange a meeting with Mr. Cook. He is willing to work with us every step of the way, in understanding all aspects of the plan and any concerns. He would help build an understanding of how it fits in to the current economic situation here in Ireland and how it can be implemented, without directly interfering with the work of the main banks and industries which can continue business as usual as best they can. 

This will be a bailout for the people and the system change we need, based on Ireland’s real resources. The Sustainability Bank and UBI also offer a commitment to helping the recovery from the pandemic, without pushing our financial and climate change difficulties down the road by increasing our national debt. 

Many thanks, Frances Micklem 



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