Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Kenny plays down mortgages report

Enda Kenny said the Keane Report was not the 'repository of all wisdom'
Enda Kenny said the Keane Report was not the 'repository of all wisdom'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has apparently played down a report into the mortgage debt crisis to be published on Wednesday.

Speaking in the Dail, Mr Kenny said the Keane report aimed to meet the needs of individuals.

He said its two fundamental concerns were to help people stay in their homes and to distinguish between those who can pay and those who will not pay their debts.

However, he warned that the report was not the "repository of all wisdom".

The Taoiseach was responding to Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins who urged him to revise down debt payments, saying: "Not only does that resolve the crisis for many home owners, but it would put billions perhaps into the real economy and help regenerate and stimulate it."

He criticised the Keane report for "tinkering" around the distress caused by massive monthly mortgages and urged the government to help those who fell victim to "profiteering" developers and bankers.

But Mr Kenny said while he appreciates the anxiety and concern caused to those who are in arrears, he warned there would be no automatic blanket write-downs.

The report on mortgage debt will be published tomorrow and debated next week in the Dail.

"You'll have an opportunity to contribute to the debate next week which, if you have ideas that are not currently in practice, let's hear them from you," Mr Kenny told TDs.

He said Finance Minster Michael Noonan would then take views and recommendations on board, along with points made in the report, and respond quickly with decisions on how to move forward.

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