Saturday 16 December 2017

Noonan has nailed down the lid on the coffin of hope

What the neighbours might think of us is the least of anyone's worries in these debt-ridden days, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

It's the little things which are most revealing. Like Michael Noonan last Thursday, responding to the Keane report on mortgage debt relief, and promising that any arrangements to transfer houses from hard-pressed homeowners to local authorities whilst allowing the former to stay on as tenants, as envisaged by the new proposals, would be "done confidentially and privately".

"From the point of view of the neighbours living on the road, the family is in the same situation, living in their own house," the Finance Minister insisted to the gathered media, as if this was the very crux and core of the crisis. "So they stay on without a social downside, or without all the embarrassment that goes with not being able to pay one's mortgage."

If anything was needed to illustrate how far removed the political class is from the concerns of ordinary people, this surely was it.

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