Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality

Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2014: Committee Stage

2:00 pm

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal North East, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 14, between lines 15 and 16, to insert the following:“(2) Section 110 of the Principal Act is amended in subsection (1)(a) by substituting “30 per cent” for “65 per cent”.”.

This amendment deals with the crux of the issues we have with the original Bill. It concerns the bank veto. Anecdotally, we hear stories that banks are working reasonably but then within Oireachtas committees we detect, reading between the lines, that the banks are making it clear it is one veto after another. We considered this to be a weakness with the Act. Giving a bank the ability to prevent a deal stacks the deck against the person who is trying to get their life moving again. For example, looking at the evidence the banks gave to the finance committee, they were quite strong in suggesting they would not be engaging in write-downs and so on. This is the key problem with the original Bill that we would want to see revisited. We are using this opportunity today to flag the issue with the Minister and I hope she can revisit the whole issue. The veto is the one area that is a fundamental flaw in the original Bill.


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