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Sunday 24 September 2017

Gilmore firm no to debt forgiveness plan after Burton proposal

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore today insisted the Government is not considering introducing debt forgiveness for defaulting mortgage holders. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore today insisted the Government is not considering introducing debt forgiveness for defaulting mortgage holders. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Social Welfare Minister Joan Burton

Independent.ie reporters

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore today insisted the Government is not considering introducing debt forgiveness for defaulting mortgage holders.

Mr Gilmore said the Cabinet was not in favour of “some kind of blanket write-off, as is being suggested by some”.



However, he said the Government was looking at other ways of helping people at risk of losing their homes.



Earlier his Labour Party and ministerial colleague Joan Burton called for a form of debt forgiveness that would be fair to both debtor and lender.



Social Welfare Minister Joan Burton said that Ireland needs some mechanism that would avoid the issue coming before the courts.



She was responding to calls for a bailout programme for troubled mortgage holders.



Last week controversial economist Morgan Kelly sparked renewed debate on the issue when he estimated €5-6bn would help end the crisis for homeowners in difficulty.



Minister Burton pointed to a scheme in place in Iceland, where the amount of a repayment is linked to the current value of a property.



She said: "You then have a situation where when the house ultimately is sold there's a further settlement.



"But if somebody who is in distress then meets the requirements of the debt deal, the over a period of time, there are periodic reductions and savings for them.



"In other words, there is a structure and there is an incentive to pay what they can pay."



- Independent.ie reporters

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