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Doherty calls for support for Sinn Féin bill to cap mortgage interest rates

10 June, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called for cross party support of Sinn Féin’s Central Bank (Mortgage Interest Rates) Bill, which will be debated tonight in the Dáil during Sinn Féin’s Private Members’ Time.

If passed, the bill would enable the Central Bank to direct those banks bailed out by the state to lower or cap mortgage interest rates

Deputy Doherty said:

“This bill is a response to two distinct and unfortunate trends. The first is the scandal of exceptionally high standard variable rates (SVR) on mortgages. Irish homeowners are paying over the odds for these interest rates compared to other EU countries.

“The second unfortunate trend is the feeble and ineffective response of the government, who have it in their power to secure much better terms for Irish homeowners. To repeat the words of Eamon Gilmore in 2011 “this government will act decisively, forcefully and effectively with the banks.” Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of Irish people, the reality has been far different.

“This bill will introduce a legal process whereby the Financial Regulator can set a maximum cap on the standard variable rate that the covered institutions (those banks bailed out by the state) can charge. The Minister for Finance can ask the Regulator to undertake a review for the setting of this rate.

“This bill will go some way in addressing the lack of action on the part of the government. Not enough is being done to help struggling families. We need to act now; we need to stand up to the banks. I’m urging all TD’s to support this Bill.” 

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