Sunday 17 December 2017

Byrne: Banks cannot be allowed to tell people to take children out of creches

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

FIANNA Fail Meath East by-election candidate Thomas Byrne has said banks should not be allowed to force people in mortgage arrears to take their children out of crèches.

He was responding to reports that working parents looking to get some of their mortgage debt written off by the banks would be told that one of them would have to stay at home if their childcare costs were too high.

Mr Byrne said his party wanted the Government to change the law so that banks did not have a veto over the new personal insolvency arrangements for people in huge debt.

“These things need to be done, we can’t have the banks just decide how things go, what people pay on their health insurance, can they bring their child to the crèche or to a play centre,” he said.

However, Labour Junior Minister Sean Sherlock has rejected the possibility of working mothers or fathers having to give up their job to look after their child, under the new personal insolvency deals.  The Government has so far rejected Fianna Fail’s private legislation to eliminate the veto banks have over signing off on any personal insolvency deals with borrowers.

Mr Byrne was asked if many householders in Meath East who were paying their mortgages would be opposed to his party's call for a debt write off for some of those with large mortgage arrears.

"I think if you look at the reality, one in four families nationwide  are in some kind of mortgage difficulty and I’d suggest that the figures are higher in Meath. Another huge portion of the population are paying their mortgage but in difficulty and they are sacrificing other things to do that.  I think they need help," he said.

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