Bill aimed at reducing mortgage rates not unconstitutional, says Fianna Fáil

Bill aimed at reducing mortgage rates not unconstitutional, says Fianna Fáil

Assertions from the Finance Minister that a Fianna Fáil Bill on mortgage rates may be unconstitutional have been described as "bogus" by the party.

Under the Fianna Fáil legislation, the Central Bank would be given powers to cap the amount banks charge for standard variable mortgages.

Minister Michael Noonan said that the legislation is unconstitutional and seriously flawed, and that the Governor of the Central Bank "doesn't want these powers".

But Fianna Fáil is adamant that something has to be done for hundreds of thousands of homeowners who have seen their mortgage repayments increase.

Party finance spokesman Michael McGrath said that he doesn't accept the Government's excuses.

“I won’t accept any bogus claim that this Bill is in some way unconstitutional,” he said.

“This legislation was debated in the Dáil last July and the Government was advised on this Bill by the Attorney General, and didn’t raise a single question about the constitutionality of the Bill.”

A Government plan to send the Bill of pre legislative scrutiny looks set to be defeated, but the minority says it won't oppose the legislation at this stage, avoiding a defeat on its first vote in the Dáil tomorrow night.

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