Longford / Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has called on the Government to urgently bring forward its formal response to the Keane report and set out its action plan to deal with the crisis of mortgage arrears. It is over six weeks since the report was completed and no action has been taken.
Deputy Troy said: “The Keane report on mortgage arrears was presented to the Government at the end of September. Six weeks on, it would appear the Government has not made any decisions on the Keane report and has not come forward with any action plan for dealing with the urgent problem of mortgage arrears. In fact the Taoiseach has now conceded that a new group is review the report of the Keane group. This is extraordinary. The distinct lack of urgency in the Government’s response is a major disappointment, particularly to homeowners in difficulty in Westmeath and Longford.
“Since coming to office last March, the Government has given no additional assistance to people struggling to pay their mortgage and remain in the family home. The Government’s promise to increase, by June 2011, mortgage interest relief by an average of €166 per month for the persons who bought between 2004 and 2008 has been abandoned, and the ECB interest rate increases in April and July have been passed on by the banks to mortgage holders despite the Government’s commitment to force the banks to absorb the rate hikes. This is increasing the burden on mortgage holders in difficulty.
“I welcome the ongoing Dáil debate on the Keane report, which has been very engaging, but it is now time the Government made decisions on how to deal with the mortgage crisis and set out its implementation plan,” added Deputy Troy.
“Thousands of families around the country, including many in the midlands, are living with the daily reality of being in arrears with their mortgage and face the risk of losing their home. The Government has not afforded this issue the urgency it deserves.
“The time for inaction and indecision is over. The time for action is now. I am calling on the Minister for Finance to make a clear statement on whether or not the Government accepts the recommendations of the Keane report and set out the Government’s plans to deal with this crisis. Fianna Fáil has brought forward our own extensive legislation in the area and the Dáil must take action to help people in difficulty.”