Urgent action to combat prospect of rising interest rates needed now says Nash

26 April 2022

Labour finance spokesperson, Ged Nash has today (Tuesday, 26th April) said a real plan to combat an imminent and sharp rise in variable mortgage interest rates is urgently needed to assist up to 450,000 homeowners.

His call comes amid growing speculation that the European Central Bank will increase interest rates before the end of 2022.

Deputy Nash said:

“Given the prevailing high average mortgage interest rates in Ireland, we believe urgent action is needed to bring rates in line with the Eurozone average. Caps on mortgage interest rates must now come into sharp focus as far too many people are struggling to get by and we need to make living more affordable for people.

“The Labour Party previously supported legislation proposed by Fianna Fail in opposition to combat rising interest rates. We believe the very real prospect of a rate rise means that caps on the rate of borrowing, particularly for mortgages, must be seriously considered by Fianna Fail in Government.

“Now more than ever, we need to revisit the German style ‘Sparkasse’ model of small, community banks lending to personal customers and small businesses. Our credit unions also need to be helped to do more. There is a real risk that a further lack of competition in the Irish banking sector, brought about by the exit of Ulster Bank and KBC, will see interest rates charged by dominant banks rise even further.

“All the evidence suggests that public banks lend more and at cheaper rates than private banks. The State must now step-in and get serious about setting up a public banking model that will be a key pillar to building a more customer-orientated banking sector.”

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