Wednesday 16 October 2019

Howlin: Labour is still pushing for cut in bankruptcy term

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin

Niall O'Connor

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has insisted the Labour Party remains committed to reducing the maximum bankruptcy term as it emerged the proposal is being resisted by senior Fine Gael figures.

Mr Howlin said slashing the term from three years to one would bring the Irish bankruptcy system in line with the UK and Northern Ireland.

"There is a view that why would some people be able to decamp to the United Kingdom for a year and avail of more favourable bankruptcy terms," Mr Howlin said.

But he added that such a move, which is being spear-headed by Labour TD Willie Penrose, is just part of the overall mortgage relief package being thrashed out. The suite of measures set to be revealed in the coming weeks will be discussed at the meeting of the Government's Economic Management Council (EMC) today. Ways to deal with Irish Water customers who refuse to pay is also on the agenda.

The Irish Independent revealed this week that tensions within the Coalition have heightened over the bankruptcy proposal, as the Finance Department fears a surge in repossessions. Fine Gael sources believe it will have "little economic benefit".

Meanwhile, Mr Howlin plans to bring measures to Cabinet related to pay restoration in the public sector shortly.

Irish Independent

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