Noonan must face the new reality and cooperate on Variable Rate Mortgages Bill – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called on Minister Michael Noonan to stop playing games and to commit to working with the Dáil to ensure the Variable Rate Mortgages Bill gets to committee stage as soon as possible.
Deputy Doherty said if the minister has legal advice to say the Bill may be unconstitutional, then he should publish that advice immediately.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Now that the bill to empower the Central Bank to cap mortgage interest rates has passed Second Stage tonight Minister Noonan must cooperate with the majority of the Dáil to get the Bill to Committee Stage as soon as possible and, crucially, to publish whatever legal advice he has on the issue.
“This legislation has the potential to have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of struggling homeowners and their families. Sinn Féin supports this legislation on that basis and on the basis that we have no reason, in the absence of the minister publishing his legal advice, to believe that it is anything other than constitutional.
“It is simply not good enough that, having indicated last year when he voted down my Bill that he was looking at similar legislation himself, to now declare this Bill unconstitutional without any evidence to back up his assertions.
“The Bill which Sinn Féin proposed last year would have empowered the Central Bank to vary interest rates. The minister and his government voted it down and gave an indication that he was looking at similar legislation himself. To now declare this Bill, which the same central aim as my own, to be unconstitutional without providing any evidence to back this up is unacceptable.
“As I reminded him last night there is a new reality and he no longer calls all the shots. Minister Noonan now has an obligation to work with the Dáil to progress this Bill including or to publish whatever legal advice he may have.
“If we are to truly have new politics then he needs to stop playing games and do his job.”