Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the latest quarterly figures from the Central Bank on mortgage arrears are proof of three years of complete failure by Fine Gael/Labour in tacking the mortgage crisis.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Today’s figures show that after three years the numbers in mortgage arrears stands at over 136,000- 17.9% of all mortgages. There are today twice as many mortgages in arrears of over 90 days that when the government came to power.
“This week the Dáil will discuss the Programme for Government which included a commitment to a ‘more radical approach to protect families in fear of losing their home.’
“The fact is that twice as many are now facing the possibility of losing their homes and this government has actually removed the legal protection that did exist to protect the Family Home.
“The Central Bank figures show the crisis may have levelled off and that is to be welcomed but in no way can the slight decrease be attributed to government policy.
“This is a government that promised much in tackling the mortgage crisis but has actually made the situation twice as bad. In March 2011 the numbers in arrears of over 90 days was 6.3%, today’s figures show it now stands at 12.6%.
“Sinn Féin would implement a genuinely radical approach of standing up to the banks and empowering the courts to side with the homeowner when every effort is being made to repay.
“We have outlined a fair approach that would involve an independent body imposing reasonable arrangements on banks and homeowners where necessary.
“We would also make it clear publicly to the banks that they cannot repossess or threaten their way out of this crisis. “