Saturday 24 March 2018

Kenny rules out blanket debt write down for 95,000 struggling homeowners

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has warned that there can be no blanket debt write down for the 95,000 people in mortgage arrears because other taxpayers "would have to pay for it".

He was speaking after Independent TD John Halligan called for this group to have their boom-time mortgages written down to the actual value of their homes now.

Mr Kenny said that this would impose a burden on other taxpayers who were already "hard pressed".

"What you are saying sounds great but the rest of the taxpayers would have to pay for it," he said.

At Leader's Questions in the Dail, Mr Halligan criticised the new guidelines for people entering into debt deals with the banks under personal insolvency legislation. He questioned whether the banks would insist on people taking their children out of creches, giving up a

second television, or a second mobile phone.

"Will even the family pet be considered a mouth too much to feed?" he asked.

But Mr Kenny said that a "degree of common sense" was required in relation to the rights people had and the contribution they were able to

make to repaying their mortgage in any debt deal. He said there was no way that a working parent would be asked to give up their job - in

response to reports that banks would force parents to take their children out of expensive creches.

Mr Kenny also said that people would be able to get advice from the new insolvency agency - and that every case would have to be considered individually. He said the overall personal insolvency legislation was one of the most radical pieces of legislation in over a century.

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