Government sits on its hands as AIB hikes interest rates again
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has called on the government to allow for the passage of his Interest Rates Approval Bill through the Dáil after AIB increase its variable interest rates by 0.4% today.
Deputy Doherty said his bill would prevent banks from increasing their rates without the approval of the financial regulator.
“Last week I published the Interest Rates Approval Bill 2013 to prevent banks that have been bailed out with public money from adjusting their interest rates without the approval of the financial regulator.
“AIB’s 0.4% increase in its variable interest rate came into effect today. This will have an impact 70,000 mortgage holders many of whom are already struggling to get by.
“It will mean an extra payment of €66 per month or €800 per year for someone on a €200,000 mortgage.
“Meanwhile the government sits on its hands and does nothing.
“In 2011 the government said it would legislate to force banks to pass on ECB rate reductions but it failed to live up to this commitment.
“I believe the government should now allow for the passage of my bill or bring forward similar legislation in order to ensure that struggling mortgage holders are not forced to take any more financial hits.
“My bill would force the financial regulator to weigh up not only the interests of the banks but also of the taxpayers when making decisions on interest rate hikes.
“The government must do more to help struggling mortgage holders who footed the bill to bailout the banks.”