Government must stand up to banks on mortgages – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the government must stand up to the banks on mortgage arrears.
Speaking in the Dáil this evening Deputy Doherty said;
“The number in arrears has nearly doubled under this government like it did in the last 18 months of Fianna Fáil. Nearly one in four mortgage owners are now in mortgage distress.
“Yet time after time the government has acted in the interest of the banks and not of the homeowner. Most recently, they have modified the Code on Conduct on Mortgage Arrears to favour the banks. At the same time, the Land and Conveyancing Bill is passing through the Oireachtas. This Bill will make it easier for banks to repossess homes.
“It is clear the government has decided to side with the banks. It needs to change direction. The 180,000 in mortgage distress need a different policy.
“Today’s government policy is the direct opposite of the Programme for Government’s commitment to give greater protection to homeowners and to the Family Home
“The Minister for Finance can and should direct the Central Bank to suspend the revised elements of the Code of Conduct and the Minister for Justice needs to allow cool heads to prevail and for the Land and Conveyancing Bill to wait in the shadows for the time being. In short, the government needs to take a step back and consider once more what they are doing.
“That is the first step. They then must move to bring in policies that are based on the interest of society and not just of the banks. That means empowering an independent voice to force the banks to be reasonable. Struggling homeowners need a level playing field and a government that stands up for them.”