Independent candidate Peter Casey is urging Donegal mortgage holders with properties affected by Mica to halt repayments in order to force the government’s hand in delivering proper redress.
Mr Casey says homeowners, standing in complete solidarity, will force the banks to heap pressure on the Government to act swiftly in funding the restoration, repair or rebuild of crumbling homes in Donegal.
Mr Casey described last week’s signing of the regulations governing the “limited and inadequate” government scheme as “cynical vote-catching nonsense”.
Now he is urging those affected to take drastic steps to achieve fairer redress.
Mr Casey says: “I would urge anyone living in a Mica house to stop paying the mortgage on their home immediately and instead secure their money in a local credit union. It is important that everyone stands together in this so that the banks will lean heavily on the Government to deal with the issue swiftly.
“The banks cannot evict the people affected from their homes because, on paper, the properties are worthless. These homes can’t be rented, they can’t be sold, and they can’t be insured – the banks only real response will be to put pressure on the Government. And we all know too well – much to the detriment of Ireland – that the Government acts when under pressure from the banks.
“I have met with a homeowner who was served an eviction notice by EBS, a subsidiary of AIB, of which the State owns the majority shareholding. This is a disgrace and cannot be tolerated by those whose homes are literally falling down around them while the State reneges on promises to provide only partial redress. I suggest that everyone stands up to the banks and the Government in order to get a full and fair redress scheme.
“AIB is currently valued at €7.5bn and the value of the shares owned by the State is approximately €5B. The solution is to ring-fence a 30% stake of the Government’s current holding in AIB. This would yield more than €1.6bn to ensure full and proper restoration of the affected properties. This may seem a drastic measure but for so many people in Donegal the circumstances are truly devastating. This situation needs to be resolved before someone dies either from the collapse of a building or as a result of the stress caused by living in a crumbling home.
“Taxpayers in Donegal, including those whose homes are falling apart, helped fund the bailout of AIB. The shares in this bank should now be used to bail the devastated and heartbroken homeowners out. The money is there, we need to stand strongly together with the homeowners to address the government in the only language it seems to understand.”
Mr Casey said last week’s announcement by Minister Joe McHugh that the existing scheme regulations had been signed off by his ministerial colleagues was a “disingenuous and desperate attempt to save a Fine Gael seat in Donegal”.
“The paltry €40m being made available is not even enough paint over the cracks of the houses affected by mica in Donegal – and that money is to be split between our county and pyrite-affected homes in Mayo. The solution to the problem in Donegal alone is going to cost closer to €1.5bn.”