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Government inaction on mortgage interest rates pathetic – Doherty

9 November, 2011


Speaking in response to news that Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland do not intend to pass on the recent ECB interest rate reduction to their customers, Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that while the government is right in describing the refusal of the banks to pass on ECB interest rate reductions to their customers as pathetic, what is more pathetic is the failure of this government to act on this issue.

The Donegal deputy called on the government to “urgently bring forward legislation that will force banks to pass on interest rate reductions to struggling mortgage holders.”

Deputy Doherty said:

“Today’s news that Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland do not intend to reduce interest rates in line with last week’s ECB reduction is devastating news for mortgage holders and small businesses across the country.

“While the government is right in describing the refusal as pathetic, what is more pathetic is the failure of this government to act.

“Across the country hundreds of families are falling into serious mortgage distress every week. When in opposition Fine Gael and Labour criticised the failure of Fianna Fáil to take action to deal with the mortgage crisis. Now in office they are pursuing the same hands off minimalist approach as their predecessors.

“With more than 100,000 families in mortgage distress it is time for the government to act. They must introduce legislation as a matter of urgency to force the banks to pass on ECB interest rate reductions to struggling home owners. Failure to do so will cause serious financial hardship for thousands of homeowners.

“It is time for the government to match their tough talking with tough action.”

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