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Bank of Ireland interest rates hike will hit low and middle incomer earners hardest – Morgan

25 February, 2010

Speaking today after the announcement that Bank of Ireland has increased interest rates it charges on some personal loans and overdrafts, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Deputy Arthur Morgan has said the increases will have a hugely detrimental effect on people and businesses.

He said it highlighted more than ever the need to nationalise the two banks and form a state bank.

Deputy Morgan said:

“After Permanent TSB’s decision to hike up interest rates on mortgage holders, we warned that other lenders were waiting in the wings to follow Permanent TSB’s lead. Today, Sinn Féin was proved right and it is the low and middle income earners of this State, those struggling from day-to-day, who will be hit hardest.

“The cost of living is still high in this state, with the Consumer Price Index last month showing that the costs of education, transport and health have gone up. This has resulted in many people being forced to take out personal loans and overdrafts just to get by. People are trying to send their children to school and college and now they are dealt another harsh blow. This will push these people who are already struggling over the edge.

“Businesses are also suffering in the credit crunch and when they can get them, many are reliant on overdrafts.

“The need for nationalisation of AIB and Bank of Ireland could never be more essential than today. In return for the recapitalisation of these banks, ordinary taxpayers have received a further harsh blow to their personal finances. The Government has been preoccupied with keeping the banks afloat but the ramifications have been disastrous for ordinary people.

“We need nationalisation to make sure that individuals and businesses have access to credit at fair rates and we need to make sure the state continues to have its own bank well into the future.” ENDS

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