It's time for action: Bacon speaks out on mortgage debt
IT is now time to consider reducing the levels of mortgage debt younger householders are struggling with, the economist and influential consultant Dr Peter Bacon has said.
Dr Bacon, speaking in an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, said the Government should consider using the proceeds of semi-state sales to write down the mortgages for those in negative equity.
Dr Bacon said a number of urgent initiatives should be considered to persuade the public to reduce their rate of savings as this was the chief dampener on consumer spending. Tackling mortgage debt was one of these, he said.
He also said the Government should consider ways to allow people access to their pensions before retirement.
"The current circumstances are so difficult, you do have to be radical,'' said Dr Bacon. "One way to deal with (mortgage debt) would be for the State to realise the value of its own assets and use the proceeds from these sales to tackle the whole problem of mortgage debt,'' he said.
Dr Bacon complemented the NAMA board on its performance to date, but said the agency should quicken the pace of sales, particularly at the top and bottom end of its portfolio.
He said the agency needed more property management expertise and he would like to see some NAMA joint ventures with private equity.