Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has given a cautious welcome to the Government’s belated move on the mortgage crisis and their proposal to end the Banks veto.

Crowe a Dublin South West TD described the move as a massive U-Turn and an open admission that the Government and Minister Michael Noonan had got it drastically wrong in allowing the banks have the final say on those who are clearly in mortgage distress.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Last year the Government voted down a Sinn Féin Bill that would have empowered the courts in the way they are now proposing to do. A whole year has been wasted with numerous families and countless individuals losing their homes all because the Minister and his advisors supposedly knew best.

“This proposed change is a massive U-turn and an admission of failure. Now with an election within months they have cobbled together a partial response of sorts.

“Sinn Féin quite correctly opposed giving the banks the final veto when the Insolvency Act was being brought in. We said it was a fatal flaw but were dismissed by Minister Noonan and his massive majority of government back benchers.

“The Government has been in denial and his dithering has compounded this crisis all the while the banks mercilessly turned the screw on homeowners who were in acute distress

“Giving the banks the final say was always a crazy idea.

“It was only last year that the Government rejected a Bill by my colleague Pearse Doherty that would in essence have given the courts the powers to overrule a bank veto where the loss of the family home was at stake.

“Like many others extremely I am extremely disappointed that other initiatives like empowering the Financial Services Ombudsman have been ignored and the legislation to protect those whose mortgages were bought by investment vultures still remains in legal difficulty.

“While I am cautiously welcoming the Government’s belated moves for those in mortgage difficulties a lot more remains to be done to relieve the pressure on those in mortgage difficulties. This proposed change is an important first step but there is still a long road to travel for those stuck in mortgage difficulties.”