Saturday 3 December 2016

Bankruptcy term vital for Penrose's election decision

Published 20/10/2015 | 02:30

Former minister Willie Penrose is the last remaining Government TD yet to declare his intentions ahead of polling day
Former minister Willie Penrose is the last remaining Government TD yet to declare his intentions ahead of polling day

A Labour Party TD has said delivering on a pledge to reduce the maximum bankruptcy term remains a factor behind his considerations on whether to run in the upcoming General Election.

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Former minister Willie Penrose is the last remaining Government TD yet to declare his intentions ahead of polling day.

Mr Penrose indicated to party officials earlier this month that he would step down, particularly if the election was held in November, as had been suggested by senior Fine Gael figures.

The news took the party by complete surprise and prompted several senior figures, including deputy leader Alan Kelly, to personally ask Mr Penrose to reconsider.

Sources close to Mr Penrose last night said he will not make a final decision for a number of weeks, adding that there are a number of factors at play.

However, the same sources confirmed that the former cabinet member will insist on assurances surrounding plans to reduce the bankruptcy term from three years to one by the end of the Coalition's term.

The backbencher believes the reduced period would bring an end to "bankruptcy tourism", which is the process whereby some Irish people in financial trouble move to the UK to avail of the more favourable bankruptcy conditions.

"Seeing that through is essential," said one Labour figure last night. "It is one factor being considered in terms of whether to run again."

Labour bosses believe Mr Penrose represents one of the party's best chances of securing a seat and are continuing to put pressure on him to run.

"Willie is one of our bankers. It is essential that we persuade him to run," said a party strategist.

Irish Independent

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