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Labour protecting big bankers while doing nothing for struggling homeowners – McDonald

27 June, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Social Protection Minster Joan Burton to explain why the Labour party is protecting big bankers whilst doing nothing for the ever increasing numbers of struggling homeowners.

Deputy McDonald said the new Code of Conduct for mortgage arrears published today is best understood as part of a wider, coordinated attack on struggling homeowners.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“This morning we have heard more tapes revealing the arrogance of the former Anglo Chief Executive and the contempt the bank Chiefs had for the regulator, the Department of Finance and indeed the State.

“Homeowners outraged by the conduct of former Anglo executives are today facing a new Code of Conduct for mortgage arrears which abolishes the previous limit of three contacts per month from banks to customers in arrears.

“It introduces a three-month notice period before a bank moves to seek a repossession order or eight months for new arrears cases. The code of conduct is best understood as part of a wider, coordinated attack on struggling homeowners.

“In the context of Labour’s stance on the banks in opposition the question has to be asked why their Ministers allowed the Anglo boys who treated the State with such contempt remain in position for five years after the guarantee on salaries of €175,000 or more?

“Labour and Fine Gael have been in government for nearly two and half years yet not a single banker has gone to jail for bankrupting the State, but homeowners now face a new charter for harassment giving the Banks even greater powers to pressurise struggling homeowners.

“What the government is proposing is allowing a veto for banks, not a level playing field for home owners. That’s not even handed, its deeply unfair.

“Fine Gael and Labour allowed very senior bankers who had little regard for the State to remain in high paid positions. Not one of them has spent a day in prison. At the same time it’s response to the plight of struggling homeowners has been heartless.

“Last week the arrears figures increased for the fourteenth quarter in a row since September 2009. The numbers in arrears has now nearly doubled under the current government’s watch. Any initiative it has introduced has been on the side of the Banks. Why are Labour protecting the big bankers and doing nothing for the ever increasing numbers of struggling homeowners?” ENDS

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