Friday, August 13, 2010

Sinn Féin demand Help For Homeowners

Sinn Féin councillors and members today held a protest outside Bank of Ireland on Patrick Street, to highlight the contrast between the billions handed over to banks and the lack of assistance for ordinary householders.

Members of the public enthusiastically queued up to throw wet sponges at Ógra Shinn Fein's Donnacha O'Laoghaire, who was dressed as a banker for the day.

The protest was part of Cork Sinn Féin's ongoing housing campaign.

Speaking at the event, Cllr Jonathan O'Brien stated: "The government's indifference to the plight of ordinary homeowners struggling with mortgage arrears and negative equity, or the hundred thousand waiting for social housing, is in sharp contrast to the extraordinary commitment it has shown to bailing out the banks.

"Yet those same banks, which owe their continued existence to the support of the taxpayer, are trying to claw back losses which were due to their own recklessness through levying higher bank charges and interest rates on their customers, while threatening householders who cannot pay their mortgages with eviction."

"Sinn Féin believes the people who really deserve a bailout are those ordinary families who bought properties at inflated prices during the boom, convinced by the government's promise that it would never end, and now find themselves with mortgages worth more than their houses and, all too often, without jobs. Banks which have been bailed out should be obliged to write off a portion of the difference between the purchase price and the current market value of a family home for those average income households who bought their properties since 2004.

"We also want vacant properties taken over by NAMA to be handed over to local authorities to provide homes for some of the 100,000 people on the waiting list."

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