Bankruptcy Bill an ‘admission of failure’ – Mac Lochlainn
Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, while welcoming the Bankruptcy Bill, criticised the delay in its publication as well highlighting how limited it is for the majority of homeowners struggling to deal with the banks. Deputy Mac Lochlainn also noted that the Bill was effectively an admission that the government's insolvency policy has afield miserably
Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
“I want to welcome the fact that from the day of commencement a one year bankruptcy term will be available for everybody in the country. This chaotic government tried to kick this issue to touch for as long as it could but eventually had to accept the demand and for a one year rule. Now a businessman facing bankruptcy in Donegal has the same rights and responsibilities broadly speaking as a businessman in Derry.
“However, those most likely to benefit are more likely to be these with larger, more diverse debts. This is a solution more for the businessman than for the homeowner whose debt is concentrated in a mortgage on the family home or even in a buy to let. For those people this move will be of limited use- this government decided a long time ago that they were for the wolves or even the vultures.
“The mortgage crisis rages on with four families a day now losing their home. After five years of belated initiatives and failed pet projects we are now in the dying days of this government tampering with bankruptcy rules. Our walkover government has chosen the banks over homeowners and doesn’t care about the social and economic consequences.
“I support this Bill as a pragmatic step, but it is no cure for five year of bad decisions. It is in fact an admission of failure. The Insolvency Service of Ireland has failed to be an effective remedy for tens of thousands of Irish families who found themselves in debt after Fianna Fail and the banks had ruined the economy.
“There should be legal protections for the family home and solutions short of bankruptcy which protect the family home. That is beyond the imagination of this government though. The banks had to come first. The law had to be changed to let banks off the leash so they could repossess at will.
“My party will support anything that helps struggling homeowners and other stand up to the banks. Though this bill will help, it is far too late for thousands unfortunately and probably in a lot of cases far too little for thousands more.”