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Sunday 19 November 2017

Bankers helped destroy dreams of an entire generation

STICK ’EM UP — THIS IS A BAILOUT’: The very banks we rescued from ruin are now gouging their rescuers in acts of economic savagery
STICK ’EM UP — THIS IS A BAILOUT’: The very banks we rescued from ruin are now gouging their rescuers in acts of economic savagery
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

More evidence has emerged about the financial consternation unleashed on household budgets by the very banks we rescued from ruin.

It transpires that we are paying more for new mortgages and personal loans than the average across the eurozone, according to the Central Bank. And that is to say nothing of current account charges.

The old trick was used on this - introduce them at a low rate, then regularly increase them until you are extracting up to €130 a year in fees and transaction charges.

The people who in no way contributed to the banking crisis find they are paying for it in a big way.

Jobs have been destroyed, wages cut, levies galore introduced - including the crude and expensive universal social charge - and new taxes like property and water charges have been imposed. Granted, it has not all been done to save the banks - but much of it is to fund the €64bn bailout of the lenders.

The unfairness of it is infuriating.

People who in no way caused the banking crisis are now saddled with the bailout, have been enduring a savage recession, and are under extreme financial pressure.

Now, when first-time buyers seek to buy - or existing homeowners try to move - they find themselves priced out of the market as the Government seems content to allow house prices to rise at ridiculously unsustainable rates.

This should allow for cuts in mortgage rates.

Instead, the profit margins being charged on variable rates for new mortgages - and to existing homeowners unlucky enough to have this type of home loan - are scandalously high. Variable rates are 30 times the European Central Bank rate.

A whole generation is being gouged and disenfranchised by this economic savagery unleashed by the bad boys of banking.

Just do not expect any help for consumers from the Central Bank or the Department of Finance.

Those bodies took a decision at the start of the crisis to save the banks, with the needs and concerns of consumers a poor second.

This was in line with the sinister decisions made by the ECB and the European Commission to rescue bad banks and beggar the Irish people in the process.

Now, a whole generation in their 40s and 50s finds itself overburdened by debts, with seriously diminished incomes and little or no provision for retirement.

This generation is going to need the support of the next one. Whether or not that is forthcoming will have big implications for the fabric of society. Imagine the anger when our generation discovers it cannot afford the level of social welfare pensions that are being paid, and the next generation has no interest in helping out.


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