Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure Seán Fleming has said that “a comprehensive resolution to the bank debt crisis facing the country and a realistic package of measures to deal with the mortgage crisis are essential to Ireland’s recovery.  Failure to deliver in these key areas would be the real barriers to our planned exit from the Troika programme.”

Deputy Fleming said: “Our planned exit from the funding programme is not new – the mechanism is in place for us to exit has been in place since the beginning.  Rather than talk about the external elements that would help the process, the Government should be putting all its focus on what it needs to do make sure that this exit is not delayed.  The first barrier would be failure to deliver on the €64 billion bank debt.  The Government has to ensure that progress is made on this as a matter of urgency.  Secondly, the mortgage crisis and growing unemployment are not being properly addressed at the moment and that is damaging confidence and preventing recovery.

“Weak consumer confidence and high levels of personal and mortgage debt are weighing heavily on families and businesses.  The government is not on top of the unemployment crisis and more people are out of work now than a year ago.  Similarly the government is continuing to deal with the banks at arm’s length which we know isn’t working.

“The banks are not pro actively dealing with the mortgage crisis despite being bailed out by the taxpayer.  The Personal Insolvency Bill is part of the solution but as long as it gives the banks a veto over restructuring that will make a real difference to people’s lives it will not have any significant impact for confidence or the economy.”

“It’s not enough for the government to tick the EU/IMF boxes.  They need to take control of their own agenda and deliver progress in the key areas of bank debt and mortgage stress.”