Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure, Rose Conway-Walsh TD has called for more action and less noise from government to address the crisis of escalating mortgage interest rates, and the failure of to pass on the same increases to savers.
Speaking after Minister Harris acknowledged the unfairness of banks, Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“Minister Harris is a Senior Minister in a Government that is turning its back on households struggling with escalating mortgage interest rates and savers that have seen no increase in the interest they receive.
“These households are victims of profiteering banks and a dysfunctional government.
“There are several actions that must be taken as a matter of urgency. These include convening a meeting with Central Bank and retail banks to examine their role in supporting households to deal with the massive income shock they are experiencing.
“Banks are making similar profits now as they were during the property bubble while struggling mortgage holders live in fear of falling behind with their monthly payments that have increased by hundreds of euro. The banking levy must be extended and expanded.
“For months now Sinn Féin has urged government to introduce temporary and target mortgage interest relief to ease the burden of increased interest rates.
“It is in nobody’s interest for thousands of homeowners to fall into arrears. The personal cost of severe financial stress as well as the impact on the economy is something that cannot be ignored.
“Bank of Ireland have recognised the risk when they made provision of €158 million for potential bad loans, over three times the provision it made last year.
“Households who, without their consent, have had their mortgages sold off to vulture funds are facing up to 10% interest rates.
“This is completely unsustainable and unbearable. We have requested that these mortgages be taken back by the original banks.
“Kite flying and grand standing does nothing to alleviate the real hardship being endured by mortgage holders. Hardworking families cannot continue to pay the price for an incompetent and patchwork government.”