Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Mortgage rate hike highlights need for State bank-Morgan

3 August, 2010


Speaking today after Bank of Ireland revealed it is to increase its variable interest mortgage rate by 0.45% from next Tuesday, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Arthur Morgan said that Government inaction to help ordinary people stands in stark contrast to the series of bank bailouts they have embarked upon and that the knock-on effect of endless mortgage interest hikes on the public finances is enormous.

Deputy Morgan also reiterated Sinn Fein’s call for a State bank to ensure low cost services to Irish households.

Deputy Morgan said:

“Last month, Sinn Féin warned that the move taken by EBS to once again increase its mortgage interest rates would set a precedent for other financial institutions in this State and today this has been confirmed.

“The Government have continuously failed to intervene to prevent these unfair and cruel mortgage interest hikes, instead leaving these profit-driven entities to pursue free market principles. But today’s announcement and the Government inaction to help ordinary people stands in stark contrast to the series of bank bailouts that this Government has embarked upon.

“The knock-on effect of endless mortgage interest hikes on the public finances, at a time of fragility in the domestic economy, is enormous. The bottom line is, to generate economic activity that will result in meaningful job creation and improvements in tax revenues, consumer spending needs to recover and this will not happen when ordinary people are crippled under the weight of mortgage interest payments.

“Ireland’s landscape is blighted with ghost estates, people are saddled down with debts and financial burdens, but it is only bankers and developers who the Government are willing to step in and help. The depth and scope of the financial crisis extends beyond the banks into ordinary households and there is an onus on Government to take equivalent actions to help ordinary people.

“Sinn Féin has been vocal in calling for a state bank and the need for the nationalisation of AIB and Bank of Ireland could never be more essential than today. We need a bank that will offer low cost services to Irish households, fund the purchase of new homes and lower the costs of paying for existing ones.

“It is hypocritical that the Government can intervene to sanction massive bank bailouts with public money but that they cannot intervene to prevent them exploiting taxpayers as their profit motivation overrides the public interest. We need nationalisation and a State Bank to make sure that individuals and businesses have access to credit at fair rates that would prevent further exploitation of taxpayers.” ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin