At today’s photocall and press conference outside Permanent TSB’s Grafton Street branch Joe Higgins MEP, Socialist Party and United Left Alliance candidate for Dublin West commented:
“This spate of mortgage interest hikes by financial institutions who have received billions in taxpayers’ money is a scandal. It is a crude attempt by them to restore profitability on the backs of hard pressed householders who are already victims of the housing bubble.
“These interest rate rises will tip many over in arrears and the spectre of repossession. The United Left Alliance calls for an immediate freezing of interest rates. Every major decision by the financial institutions from this point onwards should be made with the interests of ordinary householders to the fore.”
Cllr Joan Collins, People Before Profit and United Left Alliance candidate for Dublin South Central added.
“The fight against evictions, which is what repossessions are, has a long tradition in the struggles of the poor in Ireland. It is time to revive that great tradition as 20,000 repossessions are estimated to take place over the next year. The United Left Alliance supports every active response by householders and communities to prevent the repossession of their homes.
“If such a movement of opposition to repossessions can be built it can create the pressure required on the next government to accept legislative proposals by the United Left Alliance Dáil group to outlaw repossessions.”
Mick Murphy, Socialist Party and United Left Alliance candidate for Dublin South West said:
“Those householders, who when trying to buy a home for themselves, at the height of the bubble, were forced to take out 40 year mortgage really deserve a bailout not the greedy speculators. The United Left Alliance supports a retrospective revaluation of all homes bought during the bubble years and for the mortgage payments to be revised downwards in line with the true value of the home.
“Any short of this is a recipe for tens of thousands of what are ‘economic evictions’ in the form of repossessions. People do not deserve to either lose their home or remain victims of the speculation fuelled bubble that occurred on Fianna Fáil’s watch for the next three or four decades.”
Andrew Keegan, People Before Profit and United Left Alliance candidate for Dublin North West summed up:
“All of the proposals by the establishment parties do not go anyway near addressing the critical problems faced by people of interest rate rises, negative equity and repossession. Fine Gael’s proposal of extending tax relief is a scaled down version of their inadequate response to the IMF deal.
“Our policies on these questions are conditional on us having a properly publically owned financial system, shorn of private bad loans and run democratically in the interests of people. Our proposals will be painted by our establishment opponents as extreme. However we say interest rate rises on top of all the other cuts and the threat of repossession on people by publically funded financial institutions is the real extremism that needs to be combated.”