Fine Gael and Labour have refused to support proposals to allow families in mortgage arrears to stay in their homes and avoid repossession, according to Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill.
Senator Ó Domhnaill was commenting after Government Senators voted down the Family Home Bill in the Seanad yesterday, while all opposition and Independent Senators supported it. The Bill, put forward by Fianna Fáil, also had the backing of the Free Legal Aid Centre (FLAC) and the New Beginning group, set up by legal and business professionals to represent mortgage holders.
Senator Ó Domhnaill said: “The Family Home Bill put forward by Fianna Fáil would have provided legal protection to families in mortgage arrears to allow them to stay in their homes. This is a positive piece of legislation which would have made an enormous difference to the lives of so many people around the country who are struggling with their mortgages. But just because it wasn’t Fine Gael and Labour’s idea, they decided to stop it from happening.
“It is simply not good enough for a Government that trots out promises on political reform to make such a selfish decision, while many families around the country are under enormous financial strain and are at risk of losing their homes. These people can’t afford to wait for Fine Gael and Labour to come up with their own plan. Our proposals are ready to go and enjoy widespread support from experts in this field, as well as from all other political groups.
“The public will be the victims of the Government’s refusal to engage in constructive politics. I am urging Fine Gael and Labour to consider the real needs of the people before they block proposals without giving them full consideration.”