Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure Michael McGrath TD expressed his disappointment at the ECB’s decision to increase the base interest rate by 0.25% to 1.50%, describing it as a burden many struggling mortgage holders will not be able to bear.
Deputy McGrath said: “This decision, while very much expected, is deeply disappointing and will add to the serious financial difficulties being experienced by many thousands of families and businesses around the country. It is now time for Fine Gael to give a clear statement on whether it will honour its pledge to force the banks in receipt of taxpayer funds to absorb the interest rate hike.
The Programme for Government commits to:
Directing any mortgage provider in receipt of State support to present Government with a plan of how intends to cut its costs, over and above existing plans, in a fair manner by a sufficient amount to forego a 25 basis point increase on their variable rate mortgage.
“Despite the clear commitment in the Programme for Government, Minister Michael Noonan has again sought to row back on promises in this area telling the Dáil yesterday “Implementation of the goals set out in the programme for Government… will be introduced in a measured way and in accordance with the Government’s priorities over the period of the programme”.
“Minister Noonan’s back-tracking on this is no comfort to people currently struggling to pay their mortgage every month. The promise made by the Government parties to mortgage holders seems to have been nothing more than a ploy to win votes on the back of people’s real financial pressures. The Minister needs to come clean and let people know whether he will honour his promise and force the banks to absorb this latest interest rate increase.