I suspect you’ll find that the Minister for Finance on behalf of the Government, on behalf of the State, will suggest that the implementation of that is carried out on behalf of the Government by the Central Bank and Financial Regulator.
Much in the same way as the Department of Health now claim they don’t have responsibility for much of the health sector because it has been abdicated to the HSE. Because they move the implementation of policy one step away from the department, Ministers disavow responsibility, but will take any credit for any success.
No one is responsible, well, at least no one who can be sacked or not voted back in. Democracy at work; no politicians get put against any walls.
That’s an old, unamended version of the Constitution. You should have a look at Art 57.3.1 which reads:
“Whensoever the government is comprised in whole or in part of members of the Fianna Fail political party, no regard shall be had to this constitution, the welfare of the people of Ireland or any other special interest group, save those involved in property, farming or the sale of alcoholic beverages.”
I believe it is slightly different. In Mr. Aiken’s case he was trying to get the banks to do something for the government. Here we are talking about trying to get the government not to do something for the banks.
To my mind, the argument would rest over whether the government has power to issue the guarantee under the constitution. What’s the basis for issuing bonds (tax on future generations) and deposit guarantees (likewise, liabilities for future generations).
Article 45 sets out directives for the Oireachtas but the courts are excluded. The bank guarantee was announced by the Government but it was given legislative force by the Oireachtas so I can see no prospect for a legal challenge. As for issuing bonds (which do indeed amount to a tax on future generations) this is a normal part of our public finances, provided the Dail has voted the relevant Appropriations.
A related question I have raised on other threads is the diversion of funds to the bank recapitalisation from the National Pension Reserve Fund. Even if the recent Bill to enable the NPRF to be used for this purpose is passed, I wonder if a case could be made that the NPRF, which is separate from the Central Fund (aka the Exchequer), might be ringfenced constitutionally for its original purposes (i.e. funding future pensions). Otherwise, the Dail would be foolish to vote money into such a fund knowing that a future Government could plunder the kitty for any purpose for which it could muster a Dail majority (purely hypothetically, of course, as stalwart Government backbenchers would oppose any such effort by a future Government )