Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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For lefties too stubborn to quit
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Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
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NAMA Wine Lake >>
Yet Another Government Betrayal
Thursday June 28, 2012 17:35 by Anti Eviction Task Force - Anti Eviction Task Force
Labour and Fine Gael are content to put their feet on the heads of home owners who re struggling to keep their heads above water
Labour agree with Fine Gael that it is better to pay the mega wealthy than to keep the promises made to the slave class... oooops working class
The Anti Eviction Taskforce strongly condemns Minister Bruton's actions in signing an order restricting access to the mortgage interest supplement, which has helped thousands of low income families meet their monthly repayments. This action by the government is untenable and is a further blow to the people most affected by the misdeeds of the government and banks.
Since coming to power on a tidal wave of lies and broken promises starting with the infamous mantra of 'not one more red cent', we have seen nothing but broken promises, including the present government's promise of 'being committed to helping homeowners in distress to weather the recession, and to ensuring that Ireland has a sustainable housing policy'.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind the government and the people of Ireland of what they said in their programme for government:
Introducing a two-year moratorium on repossessions of modest family homes where a family makes an honest effort to pay their mortgage.
Fast-tracking personal bankruptcy reform needed to bring us into line with best international standards, such as introducing a flexible discharge period for 'honest bankrupts', defined as one that has materially complied with the Tax, NAMA and Companies Acts among others.
Converting the Money Advice and Budgeting Service into a strengthened Personal Debt Management Agency with strong legal powers. The agency will support families who make an honest effort to deal with their debts, including non-mortgage debt, providing protection from their creditors where appropriate, so that they have time to sort out their affairs. In order to do so, the Personal Debt Management Agency will have quasi-judicial status.
Making greater use of Mortgage Interest Supplement to support families who cannot meet their mortgage payments, which is a better and cheaper option than paying rent supplement after a family loses their home.
It has become apparent without any shadow of a doubt that the only people that Fine Gael and Labour represent are those in positions of power: the very wealthy, the bankers and bondholders. This month €3.6 billion has been paid to unsecured, and even unguaranteed bondholders, yet the reasoning for this decision to stop paying the MIS from Enda Kenny according to the Independent is "It is the banks who get this money. This year it will cost about 50 million euro."
The great hope that Fine Gael and Labour would work together to get the country up and running has dwindled from a flame to a flicker to a dying ember. In fact, we have witnessed the ultimate betrayal: a Labour politician sign away the only hope that some people have of keeping a roof over their families' heads - not just a roof but a home. The most recent and most telling episode in this saga of betrayal is being released this week with the two-pronged attack on ordinary families that are striving to keep their heads above water. The Personal Insolvency Bill gives not one shred of assistance to homeowners yet gives the banks a veto on any possible resolution, coupled with the removal of the Mortgage Interest Supplement it is win/win for the banks and government and lose/lose for the people of Ireland.
Under new rules, hard-pressed mortgage holders will first have to approach their bank or building society and negotiate a restructuring of their mortgage. The restructuring plan will have to be in place for 12 months before they can even apply to the Department of Social Welfare for the mortgage interest supplement. However, there is NOTHING in place that actually obliges the banks to do this.
To date, we are all still living with the moral hazard of the financial sector, paying for their mistakes and having homes repossessed by the very same institutions we are bailing out. Restricted access to the Mortgage Interest Supplement will mean that more families will lose their homes.
There has been no real strategy or assistance given to the people of Ireland. During recapitalization the banks were given €7.5 billion specifically for residential mortgages, yet only a tiny fraction of this can be accounted for. Despite the fact that the main lenders have received significant subvention from the State, precisely to help them deal with mortgage losses. AIB, for example, was recapitalised to the tune of €7.5 billion to cover losses on residential mortgages. As of last September, the bank had written down just €600,000 in residential mortgage debt for borrowers. (Bank of Ireland received €1.8 billion, and had at that point written down nothing.) There is nothing to oblige banks to help people, yet we have been forced to pay for the mistakes of the financial sector.
Is the Irish government willing to stand over and be the cause of yet more families becoming homeless?