Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality
Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2014: Committee Stage
As I said on Second Stage, the previous Minister, Deputy Alan Shatter, predicted that 15,000 people would avail of this when the Bill was enacted but the actual figure was, I understand, around 10% of that figure. The difficulty is that the perception and the message that came from the banks in the finance committee was that they are not in the mind-set in terms of dealing with write-downs and that they want to send out a robust message in this respect.
We must do something radical, although I do not know if that is the right word, to remove the veto. It is ensuring that the banks do not have the percentage on their side to stall a settlement. There is also a balance of responsibility and, at present, they have all the chips on their side. There is a flaw in the legislation and my party feel strongly about it. When this was going through originally, the entire Opposition took this position. Those who take up the option vindicate our view. We may not convince the Minister today but I ask her to deliberate further on the matter to see if we can make changes.