Government’s hypocritical response to mortgage debt forgivness

Socialist Party and United Left Alliance support write down of all negative equity mortgages and a ban on repossessions

Responding to the emerging debate on debt forgiveness for people in difficulty with their mortgages Clare Daly TD (Socialist Party/United Left Alliance Dublin North) said:

It is rank hypocrisy for Minister Hayes to deem debt forgiveness for householders an ‘unrealistic option’ when one considers how his and the previous government have done somersaults to relieve banks of their bad loans and make them the responsibility of ordinary people including those struggling to maintain their home.

The opposition of Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath parroting the same arguments as the government is equally galling.

Whatever the precise cost of providing such forgiveness we can be sure that it is a figure that would be dwarfed by the scale of the bank bailouts. The Socialist Party consistently raised during the housing bubble its opposition to people being enslaved to 30 and 40 year mortgages for overpriced houses in order to obtain a home. We now say that a retrospective revaluation of all houses sold during the bubble during the last decade must take place and future payments worked out based on the true value of the home and people’s ability to pay.

The United Left Alliance has already taken initial steps in launching a campaign of active opposition to repossessions and will seek to present a bill this autumn in the Dáil outlawing repossessions.

The fact a debate is taking place at all and that even some pro-capitalist economists support a debt forgiveness scheme is a reflection of the reality that tens of thousands of people simply cannot meet the inflated terms of their mortgage. It is also a reflection that their is a growing climate of opposition to people being repossessed of their homes. The Socialist Party and the United Left Alliance will play its part in giving that opposition an active form in the months ahead.