Thursday, 14 February 2019
Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
Of all the Deputies I thought were going to mention Valentine's Day to me, I did not have Deputy Doherty at the top of the list. His card has not arrived to me yet, nor indeed has a card from anyone else, but the day is but young.
As for all the charges the Deputy has put to me, I point back to the balance we have sought to secure, which the Deputy will never acknowledge, of trying to protect the interest of homeowners in significant difficulty; the fact that we have made great progress in doing this in recent years; the work of the Insolvency Service of Ireland; and the effect of the personal insolvency legislation we have in place. We will never hear any acknowledgement of this from Deputy Doherty. I will acknowledge the concerns or worries that are there but the Deputy will never acknowledge progress that has been made.
To respond to the specific questions the Deputy put to me, I will not outline now what my negotiation approach will be in respect of this text. I am mindful, however, of the points the Deputy has raised because I have seen the difficulties this issue has created in Ireland and I do not want to see the worst difficulties we have faced develop elsewhere. I am very cautious about non-court or non-legal ways of dealing with these issues becoming the norm.