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Life and debt

•In response to the hue and cry over mortgage debt forgiveness: the estimated cost at present to the state of the banks' mismanagement of the economy is currently at €85bn, €20bn of that from a raid on the National Pensions Reserve Fund. The bankers argued that they needed this liquidity to keep money flowing in the system.

The Central Bank estimated a loss of €280bn in Irish property value since 2008, an average drop of 50pc on an Irish home's value!

There are 770,000 residential mortgages collectively worth €115bn.

This debt is being shouldered at pre-recession rates, with talk only of forgiveness, forbearance, and other sweet sounding words, to those who find themselves in difficulty, along with dark warnings of moral hazard if those in difficulty are given a financial helping hand.

Bearing in mind that the state has borrowed from our children's future to pay off the excesses of a greedy self-regulated private sector, what if -- acting on behalf of the citizen instead of these faceless corporate masters -- the state had brought the outstanding debt of property back into balance with new home values and had paid off 50pc of every mortgage in the country, not just the ones in difficulty, what would the knock-on effects be?

Well -- apart from one almighty party -- the country would be back on a level playing field, the Irish citizen would become the net lender again, own over 50pc of the nation's property, there would be a massive jump in bank savings, spending and revenue, and no austerity.

Steven McGlinchey
Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Irish Independent