Noonan’s “Pontius Pilate” act on interest rates not good enough - Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said Minister Noonan’s “Pontius Pilate” act on the interest rates being charged by Irish banks is “not good enough”.
Speaking today in the Dáil Deputy Doherty said:
“Minister Noonan’s reply today amounts to a Pontius Pilate style washing his hands off the high interest rates Irish banks are charging variable rate mortgage holders. It has become evident that Irish people on variable mortgages are paying over the odds for their mortgages.
“When he first became Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan threatened banks with legislation to control interest rates. He backed down and since then interest rates have increased time after time. Recent Finance Committee hearings with the banks heard that the rate at which banks are borrowing is significantly below what they are charging for lending. It is not good enough for a Minister who owns 99% of AIB and PTSB and 15% in Bank of Ireland, to wash his hands of this problem.
“ECB rates are at a historic low but will inevitably rise in the future. The Minister was unable to answer my question today as to what will happen to interest rates then. As banks move back to profitability the excuses for interest rates being out of sync with the rest of Europe are running out. The excuse of the tracker loan books is over emphasised in my view.
“We are used to Minister Noonan letting the bank run rings around him but public anger on this issue is building and doing nothing is not good enough. The sooner he drops the Pontius Pilate act the better.”