Thursday, 14 February 2019
Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
The only culture I am interested in seeing develop throughout Europe is one that builds on what we have had in Ireland, where we have seen really important and significant progress in dealing with the issues of mortgage arrears and distressed debt, taking account of the huge trauma and difficulty it causes to citizens. Of course, what I will not hear from Deputy Doherty is the fact that we now approach the 20th quarter in which we have seen a decline in mortgage arrears. I will not hear from him that we now have another decrease in the number of accounts that are in arrears, including in long-term arrears.
As for this text and the debate that has taken place on it in ECOFIN and the Eurogroup to date, I have made clear that we need to be very careful that we do not put in place a text that leads to consequences that could be very difficult for those who are in very distressed situations. I am well aware of the experiences we have had in Ireland of this. I have been in the middle of this for the past 18 months and I am working hard through my officials to amend this text to look to get it to a better place.