Cllr James Lawless speaking the the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in the RDS on Saturday condemned the exorbitant rates charged by banks on standard variable rate mortgages. Interest rates in Ireland are at all time lows however families with variable rate mortgages are not reaping this benefit.
Variable rate mortgages in Ireland are on average 2% higher than similar mortgages across the Eurozone and people pay up to €6,000 per year more in interest than those on tracker mortgages.
“This week our Finance Spokesperson? ?Michael McGrath TD? ?extracted from AIB a commitment to reduce their variable rate in the course of the next couple of weeks” stated Cllr Lawless. “This is welcome news however there is still a lot more to be done by all the banks. We all understand the need for the banks to recover. But it cannot be at the expense of hard working home owners being squeezed on punitive and unjustifiable interest rates.”
Cllr Lawless also highlighted the lack of work being done in this area by the Government.? ?”The Government are simply wrong to say that they cannot intervene. In fact in the past they were happy to claim success in persuading the banks to reduce their variable rates in 2011. However since then little or nothing has been done since.”
During his speech in front of party delegates at the Ard Fheis, Cllr Lawless made a call that “banks need to do the decent thing – cut your variable rates now in line with the rest of Europe – and give a much needed break to ordinary Irish families.”
Cllr Lawless, who is the party’s general election candidate for Kildare North, stressed how acute this issue with mortgage rates is across Kildare and said he will continue to seek progress on this matter with his colleague Deputy McGrath.