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Fianna Fáil entirely disingenuous regarding vulture fund regulation – Doherty

23 August, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin’s Finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, has said that Fianna Fáil’s belated support for regulation of vulture funds who buy up mortgages is both “disingenuous” and “very late in the day”.

Fianna Fáil’s U-turn has come about following correspondence from the Central Bank to Michael McGrath, indicating that the Central Bank preferred regulation of the actual owners not just the administrators of the loans.  The original Department of Finance proposal was to regulate the mortgage owner, not just the middle man. Unfortunately after lobbying by the vultures, this was dropped.

Sinn Féin’s amendment to that Bill, which reintroduced regulation of the owners, was not passed by the Finance Committee with Fianna Fáil not even present for the vote.

Speaking today Deputy Doherty said:

“It is a bit late in the day for Fianna Fáil to notice that there is a gap in the legislation. Last year Fianna Fáil had the opportunity to support the Sinn Féin amendment to bridge this gap and regulate vulture funds who have bought up mortgages, and not just the middle man. They chose not to vote on the issue.

“It is disingenuous now for Michael McGrath to call the system “half-baked and unsatisfactory” and call for it to be addressed as a matter of urgency. His party did not support our amendment to bridge this “dangerous gap in the legislation” when it mattered. Fianna Fáil once more are talking from both sides of their mouths.

“We cannot have a situation where actual vulture funds who own mortgages continue to be unregulated. While it is welcome that Fianna Fáil are now calling for the situation to be addressed, it begs the question - why did it take a letter from the Central Bank to make them realise what was obvious to Sinn Féin from day one? Why leave this “dangerous gap” so wide open for so long?”

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