September 29, 2020
Ending of Covid-19 payment breaks will have damaging consequences for SMEs and microbusinesses – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said that the failure of the government to secure an extension of payment breaks from the banks will have a damaging effect on SMEs and microbusinesses, as Irish borrowers now face falling into default sooner due to government inaction.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Yesterday Government ministers met with CEOs of the five retail banks and were informed that the banks would guarantee Irish borrowers with fewer protections than borrowers in other European jurisdictions.

“The actions of the five pillar banks means that Irish borrowers will lose payment break extension protections once their six-month payment break ends.

“It is clear from yesterday that it is the banks who are in charge, and not the government.

“The response of the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, the person responsible for representing business and workers, was to just accept this from the banks.

“By contrast, Governments in Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal delivered for their citizens and ensured borrowers are covered by protections on payment break extensions for up to 12 months.

“The failure of the Government to secure a protected 12-month payment break extension for borrowers will have a damaging effect on SMEs and microbusinesses as they now risk their loans falling into default and their credit rating being impaired.”

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