Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has expressed his outrage at the Government’s failure to prioritise legislation on supporting homeowners in extreme difficulty with their mortgages.
Senator Mac Sharry said: “The Government has published its legislative agenda for this term and there is no sign of them making any time to put forward proposed laws on helping people who are at risk of losing their homes because they cannot pay their mortgages.
“Instead of prioritising supports for homeowners, the Government’s agenda for this Dáil term actually focuses on increasing the financial pressures on families. Fine Gael and Labour are prioritising laws to allow them to slap fees on homes dependent on septic tanks and hit every home in the country with a flat-rate household charge in January.
“Before the summer break, Fine Gael and Labour Senators voted down a Fianna Fáil Bill in the Seanad aimed at protecting the family home. The Family Home Bill was supported by all opposition parties and Independent Senators, and had the full backing of the Free Legal Aid Centre (FLAC) and the New Beginning group. There is widespread recognition from interest groups and politicians alike that this Bill would give strong legal protection to families facing the prospect of losing their homes because of mortgage difficulties.
“It seems to me that the Government parties refused to accept this important and positive piece of legislation simply because it was not their own idea. Now we have a situation where they appear to be completely lacking in any comprehensive plan of their own, or that they are simply unwilling to make this issue a priority in the coming months.
“The Fianna Fáil Family Home Bill is due to come before the Dáil this Autumn. In the absence of any concrete proposals of their own, I am urging Fine Gael and Labour TDs to support these constructive proposals. The issue of supporting families in severe mortgage difficulty cannot fall victim to political games.”