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Adams challenges government on mortgage distress

14 February, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has slated the government’s handling of the Promissory Note issue and accused it of having ‘surrendered to the ECB’.

Speaking during the Dáil debate on the Promissory Note the Louth TD contrasted the treatment of Big Bankers and ordinary citizens in mortgage distress by this government and the last Fianna Fáil government.

Teachta Adams said:

“It is worth contrasting the attitude of this government and the Fianna Fáil government in their treatment of the Big Bankers, and their attitude to ordinary Mortgage holders.

“When Big Bankers run up debts of Billions the government steps in to pick up the tab.

“However, when it comes to the families out there who are struggling under the weight of mortgage arrears, negative equity, increasing interest rates not to mention your new Family Home Tax, the government does nothing. Where is the write down or the bailout for the 180,000 families in mortgage arrears?

“Almost one in four mortgage holders are in distress. This is both shocking and alarming. And yet the government does nothing.

“Instead these same people, the ordinary people, low and middle income families, the poor and disadvantaged, the disabled and the young, are paying for the bank bailouts.”

The Sinn Féin leader also challenged Minister Noonan on his critique of Sinn Féin’s approach to the Good Friday Agreement.

Teachta Adams said:

“The minister has the gall to try to defend the government’s inexcusable behaviour by comparing it to Sinn Féin’s negotiating strategy going into the Good Friday Agreement.

“Given Fine Gael’s appalling record on the north and its dismal history of bad negotiations with the British, if this wasn’t so serious it would be funny.

“It is true that the Irish government of the day didn’t go into the Good Friday negotiations looking for unity. But Sinn Féin did go into the Good Friday negotiations to achieve Irish unity.

“We negotiated the end of the Government of Ireland Act. And we secured a peaceful and democratic means to end British government involvement in our country and to achieve Irish unity.

“The Irish government on the other hand negotiated a bank deal that turned bank debt into sovereign debt; will see every cent paid and has burdened our grandchildren with a bill of billions.

“So, the government is in no position to lecture Sinn Féin about negotiating strategies. It surrendered to the ECB.”

Concluding Gerry Adams said:

“For most people their assessment of the government’s handling of the bank debt issue will be based on what it means for them. How does it improve the lives of ordinary people?

“This state’s overall level of debt has not been reduced by this deal. The Government has not abandoned its austerity approach. It remains wedded to it. It intends to proceed with its plans to tax the family home and it will proceed with at least another two austerity budgets.

“Rather than lift the debt burden from Irish citizens the government has tied it to this and future generations. Fine Gael and to its eternal shame the Labour Party have signed the people up to repaying every cent of the Anglo-Irish and Irish Nationwide catastrophe.”


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