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Mortgage figures again show massive failure by Fine Gael and Labour – Doherty

11 December, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the latest mortgage arrears figures from the Central Bank, the last under this government, show that the Fine Gael/Labour government has failed massively to tackle the crisis. Four families a day are now losing their home because of the mortgage crisis.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Any fall in the number of homes in arrears is to be welcomed, but taking a step back and looking at the figures over the last five years the pattern of a prolonged crisis largely unaffected by government policy becomes clear. There were 206 repossessions during the quarter but that does not include so called voluntary surrenders. In truth, 422 families lost their homes during this period- an identical number to the previous quarter. That means four families a day are losing their home. When these figures were first published in March 2012 this figure was 165 homes for the first quarter in 2012.

“The dependence on arrears capitalisation and split mortgages in the restructures shows how weak government policy has been. These two ways of dealing with arrears have been singled out as being the least sustainable yet account for almost half of the restructured mortgages. This typifies the failure of the Fine Gael/Labour approach of first ignoring and then creating targets on the banks’ terms to deal with this crisis.

“Minister Noonan and his colleagues should be ashamed that they have allowed this crisis to now reach the point where four families are evicted each day in this State while we are told the banks are now profitable. It must be pointed out that despite recent falls the number of family homes in arrears of over 90 days stands at 8.7% of the total number of homes. In March 2011, the number was 6.7%. That shows the scale of the failure of this government.

“We know too that government policies on advising struggling homeowners and schemes like mortgage to rent have been disasters contributing practically nothing to solving this crisis.” 

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