Noonan flips flops on major mortgage arrears commitment - Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said Minister Michael Noonan has announced a major climb-down on a key Programme for Government commitment. The Minister has shifted the goalpost and is now claiming that the Programme for Government commitment - that it would be mandatory for banks to offer certain solutions to borrowers - only applies to vulture funds and not to all lenders.
Deputy Doherty said:
“In the space of a month the government has flip flopped on this key commitment. It was only a month since the Minister confirmed to me that the Programme for Government commitment meant that borrowers would have to be offered either a split mortgage or a mortgage to rent scheme before a repossession.
“Today Minister Noonan completely moved the goalposts. He now claims that this commitment only relates to making previously unregulated mortgage owners have to apply this provision of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears. That is a blatant flip flop despite the Minister’s protestations.
“This was a key commitment and one I welcomed that would have made a real impact on mortgage holders in arrears. Today, in typical fashion, the government have shifted the goalposts and removed what was a major commitment to struggling families and mortgage campaigners.
“Those of us who have campaigned on mortgage arrears welcomed the Programme for Government rhetoric but now it is clear that it is only rhetoric. This is a major flip flop and a disgrace so soon after the Programme for Government was signed.
“Those independents and others who support this government must now wake up and realise that a commitment from Noonan on arrears is worth nothing. More importantly, those in mortgage arrears must now be very cautious about believing any real change in the Fine Gael policy of “banks first” will happen.”