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Government support for family home repossessions would be heartless and economically irresponsible – Doherty

28 February, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said any move by the government to give a green light to banks on home repossessions would be heartless and economically irresponsible.

Deputy Doherty was responding today to news that the government is to give the go ahead to banks to push through repossessions. He said debt write-downs must be the backbone of any plan to deal with mortgage distress.

Deputy Doherty said;

“The government has been sitting on its hands for too long. Even the very conservative Keane report has not been implemented.

“One in every four mortgages is now in distress with over 100 new cases each day. This problem has got worse and worse under this government.

“Recent plans by some banks to increase variable mortgage interest rates show that lenders are not dealing with this issue. Unfortunately the Personal Insolvency Act leaves them with the last word.

“It is the role of government to intervene in this social and economic crisis.

“Repossessions are a failure and should not form any part of the solution. Debt write-downs must be the backbone of any plan to deal with mortgage distress. That is simply the reality.

“There are many people who are simply not able to contribute to the real economy as all of their disposable income is used to service their mortgage. They will not be able to cope with a property tax or water charges. Taking their home from them is not the answer. They need a debt write-down in order to be able to function and contribute to our economy.

“The Personal Insolvency Act needs to be amended to include the establishment of an independent body with powers to impose agreements on lenders in cases of mortgage distress.

“Any move by the government to give the green light to banks on family home repossessions would be heartless and economically irresponsible.” ENDS

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