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Governor Honohan states the obvious on mortgage arrears: Doherty

23 May, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, said today’s comments from Governor Honohan that the time for passivity on mortgage arrears is past, is stating the obvious.

Deputy Doherty said: “This is a crisis of great proportions to which the government and Central Bank have been slow to respond.

“I hope today’s comments mark a new determination to force the banks into reasonable solutions and to stop the bleeding dry of those in arrears.

“Today the Central Bank published a report that showed that those struggling to pay their mortgages spend an average of 18% less in the real economy. That is, 18% being sucked out of the real economy because banks are not facing up to their responsibilities.

“Sinn Féin has always argued for societal approach to the mortgage crisis. Instead the government has treated the crisis as a banking one and ignored the economic and social side to mortgage distress, affecting one-in-four householders.

“The number in arrears doubled in the last 18 months of Fianna Fáil rule and has doubled again in two years of Fine Gael/Labour rule. In that time, the banks have not been reasonable and have been dragged kicking and screaming to agree with minor measures.

Governor Honohan’s emphasis in splitting mortgages as a solution is not a problem-free suggestion and will not suit everyone. I hope to see more details but my fear is that once again banks will have the final say,” said Deputy Doherty.

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