Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finance Minister Refusal to stop Permanent TSB interest rate hike breathtakingly arrogant – Kelly

Sinn Féin’s Swords Representative Conor Kelly has described Finance
Minister Brian Lenihan’s comment that the increase reflects commercial
market realities as breathtakingly arrogant.

The Swords Representative said during a protest outside Permanent TSB in Swords today:

“Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has refused to intervene in Permanent
TSBs decision to hike up interest rates on mortgage holders thus
negating the recent ECB reductions. The Minister’s comment that the
increase reflects commercial market realities is breathtakingly arrogant
and illustrates magnificently in whose interests his decisions are made.

“This week Brian Lenihan muted a possible reduction in the minimum wage
and his government is actively considering reducing social welfare
payments as recommended by the McCarthy Report. At every turn this
government is attacking the low paid and the vulnerable and in the same
breath is doing whatever it takes and whatever it costs to protect the
profits on the banks.

“It is interesting to note that one of the Ministers appointees to the
Permanent TSB board is Ray McSharry, the former Minister for Finance who
appointed Colm McCarthy to the original An Bord Snip in 1987. It appears
its very much business as usual for Fianna Fáil Ministers old and new.

“The Minister’s refusal to stop the Permanent TSB increase must be
responded to. There can be no doubt that other lenders are now waiting
in the wings to follow Permanent TSB’s lead. The ECB’s interest rate
reductions that have been so instrumental in bringing down costs of
living will be negated if the government gives this signal to the
banking sector that it is ok to hike up rates. Taking money out of the
general economy and putting it into the coffers of financial
institutions profits is economically inept and socially reckless.

“In the 1980’s Geraldine Kennedy, then a Progressive Democrat TD was
challenged to live in Ballymum for a week existing only on social
welfare. She lasted 4 days. Well, all is quiet in the world of the
media, so I challenge Brian Lenihan on behalf of the people of Swords to provide for his family and pay off the average monthly mortgage relying only on a weekly social welfarepayment for the month of August. It would be great human interest story
and we would see if the Minister truly has the courage of his
convictions and the strength of character to see them through.”

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