Monday 26 September 2016

Dail suspended in row over failure to deliver mortgage interest rates

FF pledges to keep raising issue until banks cut rates

Published 30/04/2015 | 12:34

The Dail was suspended for a time today as a prolonged row over interest rate cuts led to mayhem.

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Deputy Dail chairman Micheal Kitt repeatedly urged both sides to stop trying to shout each other down - and then delivered on his threat to suspend proceedings in a final effort to restore order.

Fianna Fail's public spending spokesman Sean Fleming again accused the Government of doing nothing for the 300,000 mortgage holders who are paying over the odds.

He said Fianna Fail would continue to pursue the issue. "We will raise this each week until we see a reduction," the Laois TD said.

Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath and Sean Fleming speaking to the media at Leinster House earlier this month
Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath and Sean Fleming speaking to the media at Leinster House earlier this month

Communications Minister Alex White, replying for the Government, said many initiatives continue to help mortgage holders struggling with arrears. "But the Government has no statutory powers to cut interest rates," Mr White said.

Read more: No rate cut on the cards for Bank of Ireland or Ulster Bank variables

Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin asked Mr White if Labour in government was satisfied with accountants KPMG, who acted as liquidators for IBRC bank and Siteserv, conducting an effective review of the transactions involved.

Mr Toibin asked if anybody in Leinster House had knowledge of anything untoward happening in relation to these transactions.

Mr White said the question was "a classic Sinn Fein tactic" with innuendos masquerading as questions. "There is no reasonable basis for what is being said," the Labour Party Minister said.

The Communications Minister said the review would be carried out and former High Court judge Iarlaith O Neill would guard against any conflict of interest.

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