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This government is not prepared to stand up to the banks – Doherty

31 March, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking tonight in the Dáil, Sinn Féin TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty levelled serious criticism at the government for not being prepared to stand up to the banks and allow the Irish people some breathing room from their predatory motivations.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The banks cannot be trusted. We know this by the way they are abusing the mortgage arrears resolution targets. We know because when it comes to personal insolvency arrangements they hold the veto and are not afraid to use it. They know this government won’t stand up to the mighty banks.”

“The Central Bank is not fulfilling its role in regulating the financial sector. As far back as 2012, the Central Bank knew that Permanent TSB was in breach of the rules by shifting customers from tracker mortgages to more expensive variable rate ones yet where was the action? The Fine Gael/Labour government won’t stand up to the banks; it is a well-established policy of theirs and they are not for changing.”

“There are things the government can do; it just doesn’t want to.  Some days, it seems that Minister Noonan forgets completely he owns the banks.  The government must use its resources for the betterment of society and to create fairness. AIB, PTSB and a chunk of Bank of Ireland belong to the people.  That is why I have drafted legislation that would give far greater powers to the Financial Regulator to veto applications for an interest rate hike by banks in which the people have a stake.”

“That is the democratic and socially responsible way for banks to be regulated in times such as these. It won’t happen however, because the banks have the final say.”

“The government have adopted a clear banking strategy. They will let the banks do what they want including kicking people out of their homes. They will let the banks rip off Irish mortgage holders. They will do nothing to annoy the banking sector.”

“I wonder, when we look at the disastrous numbers of those in mortgage arrears, how many are there because the government has decided that the policies of the banks it owns on behalf of the people are none of its business. How many of the thousands living in fear of repossession were tipped over into arrears by one increase too many, while the government and the Central Bank washed its hands of any responsibility?”

“They trust the banks and have decided that the banks come first. At all times and regardless of the situation the banks have the final say; that is Ireland 2015. The families struggling with a mortgage will pay what the banks want and a weak government will let them away with it.” 

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