Friday, December 23, 2011

bikingdirty.com - Interview with Ratoath BMX Club's Shay and Eamon


Group logo of Ratoath BMX Club

Shay McNally and Eamon Wyer from the next exciting BMX track in Ratoath Co.Meath. Ratoath is 10 minute drive from Blanchardtown and now boasts the best BMX tracks in the country. In the last two months alone three new BMX tracks have opened starting with Ratoath then an indoor track in Cherry Orchard and the most recent is Tullamore. This has sparked BMX fever the last 20 years have seen the racing scene fall away to nothing but with hard work and dedication of old veterans and massive help from local communities has seen a great new future for Irish BMX. With the World Champs being held in Birmingham and fast approaching its time to get an Irish team.

"Big support from Regina Doherty our local TD who was behind us from the start"


The full interview is available on http://www.bikingdirty.com/archives/1034

They have also set up a group on their web site dedicated to Ratoath BMX Club click HERE to join

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Arrival of new Papal Nuncio can herald new era of church cooperation


Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has said she hopes that the arrival of the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland next month will herald a new era of openness and cooperation within the Catholic Church.

“We’ve come through a difficult period of relations between the Vatican and the Irish State. Much hurt has been caused by past failings, but I believe now is time for us to move on if we want the Catholic Church to survive here in the long term. In my own community, the Church plays a very significant role, and I know there is great will among the Irish public to secure a place in our society for the Church into the future.

“Yesterday, the publication of the final chapter of the Cloyne Report brought to light yet more devastating revelations about the mishandling of abuse allegations by the clergy. However today, we see a more open approach being taken by the Church in a bid to address these failings. It has initiated a new scheme which allows victims to have face-to-face meetings with the bishop who oversaw the Cloyne diocese while allegations went unreported. A similar scheme in the US has had positive outcomes for victims.

“Next month, the newly appointed Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Charles Brown, will begin his time in Ireland, and I hope his arrival will herald a new era of openness and cooperation between the Catholic Church’s hierarchy and its parishioners. The Church needs to engage with its grassroots if the institution is to have a bright future.

“I want to instil a sense of Catholic principles in my children’s lives, and I know many other parents feel the same. But the Church needs to move forward if this is to happen. I am encouraged by the fact that the new Nuncio has worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I would urge Monsignor Brown to take a fresh approach to his new role; his position will be essential in bridging the divide that has evolved between Irish Catholics and Rome. He needs to talk, he needs to engage, and most of all he needs to ensure he isn’t seen to be disconnected from the concerns of ordinary church goers.

“The Catholic Church once held an authoritarian role within Irish society. Those days are gone. I know there is a strong desire for a new Church to emerge; one that is based on a sense of inclusiveness, warmth and strong moral values. Committed Catholics want this to happen; it’s now up to the new hierarchy to ensure it does.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Six Meath schools to benefit in major building programme


Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the news that construction will be progressed on six schools in Meath in 2012. The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD, announced a total of 56 major school building projects today as part of the €430 million educational infrastructure plan for next year.

“I am delighted to receive confirmation from Minister Quinn that construction will progress at six Meath schools over the coming year. Dunshaughlin Community College will benefit from an extension and refurbishment project, while new schools will be provided for the boys and girls at Realt na Mara in  Mornington.

“New school buildings are being provided at Scoil Naisunta Mhuire in Moynalty and Scoil Naisunta Mhuire Naofa in Enfield, while an extension and refurbishment project will be completed at the Drogheda Grammar School.

“This follows on from a number of school building projects in Meath which have been completed over the last year. In my own village of Ratoath, a new school built for St Paul’s NS. A new school was also built at Scoil Eoin National School in Navan, and extension works were carried out at Scoil Naomh Barra in Wilkinstown.

“I am sure that all of the pupils, teachers and parents involved in all of these schools will be delighted with today’s announcements. New buildings and extensions will provide top class facilities for students and staff alike.

“Over the next five years the Government will spend €2 billion on major school building projects. We are planning ahead to cater for the expected growth of 70,000 pupils in enrolment at primary and secondary level between now and 2018. This level of spending demonstrates the Government’s commitment to prioritising education provision during this time of austerity.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pyrite homes must be exempt from household charge – Doherty


Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has urged the Minister for the  Environment, Phil Hogan, to ensure that houses affected by pyrite will be exempt from the household charge.

“I have been pursuing this issue with the Minister over recent months. The Government has been left with no option but to introduce a household charge, to meet the terms of the EU/IMF agreement. But the Government does have some choice over who they choose to exempt from the charge.

“A number of exemptions have already been announced including social, voluntary and co-operative housing, owners of houses entitled to mortgage interest supplement and owners of houses in certain unfinished housing estates. I have made several representations to the Minister, urging him to extend these exemptions for owners of houses which have been affected by pyrite.

“Thousands of homes across the country, which were built during the boom years, have been badly affected by pyrite. The people living in these homes have had to deal with raised floors, swollen and cracked walls and jammed doors and windows.

“It would be of significant relief to these homeowners if they did not have to pay the €100 household charge. It would be completely unjust to impose the charge on people who already feel their homes are sub-standard, and in some cases, unliveable. I hope the Minister will take this into consideration when making up his mind on this matter.”

Introduction of roadside drug testing will save lives – Doherty


Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has said that the introduction of roadside drug testing will help to save lives. Deputy Doherty made her comments today (Monday) following confirmation of the move from the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar.

“We have come a long way in recent years in improving safety on our roads. This latest measure, as announced by Minister Varadkar, will strengthen the power of Gardai to assess drivers and determine whether they are under the influence of any drugs that would impair their driving ability.

“Driving is a complicated task at the best of times. It’s essential that there is a general understanding amongst the public that certain drugs affect your concentration and inhibit your capability behind the wheel.

“It’s already an offence to drive under the influence of drugs, but these new laws will allow Gardaí to conduct roadside tests, making it easier to detect drug driving. Members of the Gardaí have been trained in the new procedures by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. New legislation is being drafted and Minister Varadkar hopes to introduce the measure in the New Year.

“While a range of illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine have a significant impairing effect on driving, some prescription drugs can also affect one’s ability. There’s an onus on GPs to ensure their patients fully understand the effects of certain medication. I would encourage anyone in any doubt about the side effects of medication they may be taking to contact their local doctor or pharmacist.

“The objective of this new measure is clear; to save lives. Any driver who fails the roadside impairment test, or who appears to be under the influence of drugs, will be arrested and brought to a Garda Station. This sends out a strong message that being under the influence of any intoxicant behind the wheel will not be tolerated.”

Statutory regulations needed to combat below cost alcohol - Doherty


Fine Gael TD, Regina Doherty, has said that statutory regulations are needed to address the ongoing problem of the below cost selling of alcohol, particularly in large supermarkets which use alcohol as a loss maker to attract customers.

“This is a complex area, which I feel very strongly about. There are a number of elements of this problem which we need to examine individually; namely alcohol marketing, pricing and availability. Alcohol consumption has risen rapidly in this country in recent years as a direct consequence of the widespread availability of cheap drink.

“Alcohol abuse is having a hugely detrimental effect on our society. Alcohol causes about 100 deaths per month, accounts for a third of all emergency department attendances and about 7% of GP visits. The impact on our younger generations is even starker; one in four deaths of young men is due to alcohol. That is a shocking and deeply disturbing statistic, and I believe there is an onus on the Government to tackle this issue head on.

“It should come as little surprise that we have such a spiralling problem with alcohol in this country, when one considers the proliferation of cheap drink in major supermarkets. 80% of all wine is sold in supermarkets. How can we stand over a system that allows two bottles of wine to be sold for €5? Price is just one part of the problem; we also need to look at the marketing of alcohol. Major retailers are investing large sums of money to advertise below cost alcohol, simply to get customers in the door. They appear to be taking no responsibility for the consequences of these actions.

“I understand that a Steering Group, set up within the Department of Health is due to report back to the Minister in the coming weeks, and I am encouraged by comments from Minister of State, Roisin Shorthall, that she will consider introducing a minimum price for alcohol. We need a comprehensive policy approach to this issue, and I would hope that statutory regulations could be introduced to sufficiently police this area. We cannot continue to close our eyes to the devastating damage alcohol is having on our society.”

Better Energy Programme Changes

The Government has committed to spending €76 million on the Better Homes Scheme during 2012.   

While the overall allocation represents a 15% decrease year on year, the allocation will still allow substantial economic activity in 2012; supporting at least 4,500 jobs and generating anticipated energy savings of 340GWh. 

The budget allocation is a Government decision and based on the pressures on the public finances. The Department recognises the positive economic impact of the programme, but also recognises the extremely challenging environment that the Government is operating within. The fact that we have managed to secure the allocation that we did is a positive result. 

Half of the Grant levels have changed under the Better Energy programme. See Table 1. There have been minor changes to the most popular measures, so for the majority of applicants there will be little or no impact. 

The only significant change in funding levels is to the wall insulation part of the scheme - a change whereby people will now only get the level of support appropriate for the type of house that they live in.  It makes sense that people who live in a terrace house shouldn't receive the same level of support as those who live in a detached house.   

Given the changing patterns of applications, i.e. an increase in internal and external wall insulation, the Department would have amended the grant levels anyway, as one of the original aims of the programme was to develop a functioning market for wall insulation. The increasing activity/applications levels strongly suggest that this has been achieved. 

Everyone who has an application approved by SEAI prior to the changes will see their original grant offers honoured at the original levels. The changes will only affect new applications. 

All the details of the changes are clearly set out in  the Better Energy FAQ http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Better_energy_homes/Better_Energy_FAQ/ 

The Department is confident that all the resources made available in 2012 will be drawn down and that the scheme will continue to support a significant level of employment.   

The Programme for Government commits to a gradual withdrawal of funding for grants and a transition to a Pay-As-You-Save scheme in 2014. 



Home Energy Saving scheme
Previous Support Levels €
Current Support Levels €
Roof Insulation
200
200
External wall insulation
4000
Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace House
1800
Semi-detached OR End of terrace
2700
Detached House
3600
Internal Wall Dry-Lining
2,000
Apartment (any) OR Mid-terrace House
900
Semi-detached OR End of Terrace
1350
Detached House
1800
Cavity Wall Insulation
320
250
High Efficiency Gas or Oil fired Boiler with Heating Controls Upgrade
560
560
Heating Controls Upgrade
400
400
BER After Upgrade Works (Only one BER grant per home)
80
50
Solar Thermal
800
800

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Dash around Navan for Saint Vincent De Paul next Sunday 18th at 11.30am -


SVP are organising a 3 km walk or run  around the town centre at 11.30 in the morning next Sunday with all participants dressed up as Santa Claus. It should make for a great spectacle in the town and a great way for family and friends to kick off the festive season. 
 SVP are charging €20 per participant or €45 per family.  For that you get a 5 piece Santa suit for each adult to keep, hats for the children, your photo taken before the walk and a free copy of the photo when you return, (sponsored by “Just  Kids Photography” ) and free teas and coffees from “Subway” in Navan Shopping Centre.
SVP would appreciate your help to  promote the event during the coming week by forwarding this email to others or bringing it to the attention of your friends.
SVP is very much on people’s minds this Christmas and recent changes to arrangements for some church gate collections have reduced our potential resources,  this “Santa Dash” as it is called is a very important part  of our fundraising this Christmas to support many needy people.  


Navan “Santa Dash” Details  ( Facebook )

Date: Sunday December 18th 2011Time:   11.30am leaving Navan Shopping Centre together (Please come along at 10.30 if you are collecting your Santa suit on the day. Where: Navan Shopping Centre, on road beside main entrance.Route:  Kennedy Rd., Market Square, Ludlow St., Bridge St., Circular Rd., Railway St, Trimgate St., Market Square, Watergate St., Abbey Rd., Kennedy Rd.
Cost: €20 Adult, €45 Family


How to Register:

On Line at this Link Santa Dash   (Kindly provided by Athletics Ireland, don’t worry we will not time you !) You can then pick up your suit at SVP shop “Vincents” on Brews Hill anytime during the week, or in Navan Shopping Centre on the morning from 10.00am.

You can also pay and pick up your Suit and registration Number at any of the following:  

“Subway” in Navan Shopping Centre or
“Vincents” SVP shop,  Brews Hill. (opposite China Garden Restaurant)

Thanks to an Garda Siochana , Navan Town Council and Navan Shopping Centre.for facilitating the event.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ratoath and Environs Water Supply


Water Notice - Water Mains Flushing to Ratoath and Environs Water Supply, - from Tuesday 13th December 2011 to Friday 23rd December 2011 daily Monday to Friday

Date Released: 12 December 2011

Public Notice
Water Mains Flushing to Ratoath and Environs Water Supply

Meath County Council wishes to advise that water mains flushing to Ratoath Water Supply network will be carried out from Tuesday 13th December 2011 to Friday 23rd December 2011 daily Monday to Friday.

Mains’ flushing is carried out to improve the quality of water supply to our consumers. Consumers in areas where flushing will take place may notice temporary discolouration to their water however this discolouration should clear when allowed to run for a few minutes.

Consumers in Ratoath and surrounding areas may experience low pressure to their water supply for the duration of these works.

Meath County Council regrets any inconvenience caused.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Milk levy would provide boost for dairy industry


Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the decision from the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to begin a consultation process on the introduction of a milk levy. Deputy Doherty said the revenue raised would be ring fenced to promote dairy products and target new markets.

“The Minister for Agriculture, like all of his Cabinet colleagues, has had to engage in some very innovative thinking in the run up to Budget 2012, due to our constrained economic circumstances. I believe Minister Coveney has delivered a programme of measures that will support growth and innovation in the agri-food sector.

“One such measure is the possible introduction of a milk levy. The Minister is going to begin a consultation process on the proposal in the New Year. The idea is that a very small levy, something in the range of 0.001 cent, could be placed on each litre of milk, to provide funding to specifically promote dairy products.

“I think this is an extremely clever idea; the consumer wouldn’t notice any price difference, while the industry would be provided with a revenue stream for dairy product promotion. This would help the dairy industry to specifically target new markets, realising increased potential and securing the viability of the industry into the future.

“A number of other key elements in the Budget will be of specific benefit to the diary industry. Minister Coveney has announced a series of animal health initiatives, including a voluntary BVD eradication programme, a new initiative to tackle Johnes Disease and changes to the brucellosis testing for dairy herds.

“These are small, cost effective measures that can make a real difference, and, together with the range of other initiatives being implemented by Minister, they will help to foster growth and employment in the agri-food sector.”

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Budget to benefit 214,000 homeowners who bought at peak


First time buyers between 2004-2008 to get mortgage interest relief boost

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty, has today (Wednesday) said the mortgage interest relief measure in yesterday’s budget will benefit an estimated 214,000 people who bought their first home during the peak of the property boom.

“This increase in mortgage relief will free up a significant amount of money for hard pressed families and help them hold on to their homes. By increasing the Mortgage Interest Relief to 30% for people who bought between 2004-2008, Minister Noonan has eased the pressure on those who are possibly the biggest victims of the economic collapse.

“Increasing mortgage interest relief was at the core of Fine Gael’s proposals during the General Election. I am extremely pleased that we are able provide this essential support to families who may be teetering on the edge of mortgage default and those living in fear of losing their jobs.

“I have heard from so many people who paid hugely inflated prices for their homes and are now struggling to pay their mortgage. I genuinely believe that this measure will make life a little bit easier for them.

“Despite the extreme challenges involved in managing the economy in these very challenging times, we are determined to be as fair as possible. One of the first actions of this Government was to reverse the cut in the minimum wage which was introduced by the last Government. As with the abolition of the Universal Social Charge (USC) for low earners and yesterday’s increase in mortgage interest relief, I am pleased that we now have a Government that is determined to be as fair as possible throughout the budgetary process.

“This is the first Government measure taken since the property market collapsed in 2008 that has given hope to struggling homeowners that bought their first home during the boom.”

Let’s get the ‘Plus One Project’ going – Doherty


Enterprise Budget will help support business and innovation

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has said that small businesses will benefit from the Government’s decision to maintain funding for the Department of Enterprise, with about €1 billion euro to be provided for enterprise capital supports over the next two years.

“The Government has clearly illustrated its commitment to jobs in this year’s Budget, by broadly maintaining expenditure in the Department of Enterprise. A whole range of supports and initiatives are planned over the coming year which will directly benefit small businesses. Now is our chance to get what I like to call the ‘Plus One Project’ going; by encouraging and supporting every small firm in the country to take on just one extra employee, we could get to grips with our unemployment crisis.

“The Department’s overall budget will come in at about €880 million, supporting a range of initiatives including an increase in spend for Enterprise Ireland; a 10% rise in the number of high potential start-ups being supported; new technology centres in IT and Financial Services, a 20% increase in the number of Innovation Partnerships and support for over 3,000 researchers.

“The Government is directly targeting the SME sector in its Action Plan for Jobs, which will be up and running in January. This means a Micro Finance Fund and a Partial Loan Gaurantee Scheme will become a reality. This will help to directly tackle the biggest issue facing so many small businesses; access to credit.

“There’s no reason why we can’t compliment these initiatives with other low cost projects, which could have a hugely positive benefit. Why not get an ‘Innovation Bus’ on the road, travelling to towns around the country, to provide helpful advice and information to prospective business people. Entrepreneurial spirit is incredibly high in Ireland; the Government’s drive and focus to grow the economy and get people working again will help us to tap into that huge potential.”

Bruton welcomes pro-jobs measures in Budget


Minister for Jobs publishes tender and unveils further details of Temporary Partial Loan Guarantee Scheme, expected to be operational in Q1 2012

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD today welcomed a series of pro-jobs measures in Budget 2012, announced today by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD.

Minister Bruton said that as a result of a series of measures announced, it would be cheaper and easier, to engage in crucial R&D activities, to export to key growth markets, to run a start-up company in Ireland and ultimately to create jobs.

The principal measures include:

·        Leaving income tax untouched. Both international and Irish evidence shows that low labour taxes support jobs.

·        To incentivise company start-ups, the corporate tax exemption for start-up companies will be extended to include companies who commence trading in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Most jobs are created by start-up companies.

·        A Foreign Earnings deduction. This targeted deduction will apply where an individual spends at least 60 days a year developing markets for Ireland in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and will incentivise companies to place staff overseas to encourage export sales.

·        Restatement of the Government’s firm commitment to the 12.5% rate of corporation tax.

The Minister for Finance also announced a series of changes to the research and development tax credit, a widely-used tax credit which was previously improved in May’s Jobs Initiative. This is aimed at encouraging companies, both domestic and multinational, to spend on research and development, and currently allows them to write off a portion of such expenditure against corporation tax. The changes announced today will be targeted particularly at encouraging SMEs to engage in R&D, and will mean that:

·        A greater portion of the total spend on R&D can be written off, by including without restriction the first €100,000 spent for the purposes of availing of the credit. This measure is included in the Programme for Government.

·        Businesses who outsource research and development activities to universities or other organisations will be subject to fewer limits in availing of the tax credit. Since SMEs generally have less in-house R&D capabilities than larger companies, this will make it easier for them to avail of the tax credit and will encourage the creation of new high-value R&D jobs

·        Companies will have the option to use a portion of the R&D tax credit to assist in the employment of key employees to drive the development of R&D

Other measures include:

·        A package of measures to support the continued success of the financial services industry – in particular the international funds industry, the corporate treasury sector, the international insurance industry and the aircraft leasing industry.

·        A Special Assignee Relief Programme. Many senior employees and key leaders in multinational corporations are internationally mobile within their organisations. Often these people have large teams around them and are key decision makers. Today the Government announced a series of measures to make it more attractive for these people to locate in Ireland.  This, in turn, will increase the chances of the Irish operations of these corporations winning future jobs and investments, particularly in the start-up phase.

Minister Bruton recently announced, along with the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, details of a Temporary Partial Loan Guarantee Scheme and a Micro-Finance Loan Scheme and the Minister for Finance referred to these measures in his speech today. The Minister today announced the publication of a tender for an operator for the loan guarantee scheme, and unveiled further details of the Scheme (see notes for editors).

The Minister for Finance also indicated that he would be considering other measures for inclusion in the Finance Bill, and Minister Bruton today signalled his intention to make further submissions to Minister Noonan in that regard.

Welcoming the announcements, Minister Bruton said:

“The Government is determined that, alongside the very painful budgetary decisions we have to make, we must implement our plan for economic recovery and job creation. There are many aspects to this, including January’s Action Plan for Jobs and of course the crucial task of restoring our public finances to a sustainable path.

“This Budget represents a positive step towards restoring our international reputation and restoring confidence in Ireland as a location for investment, trade, and job-creation. It also includes a series of tax changes to incentivise businesses, from SMEs to large multinationals, to establish, grow and invest in job-creating activities. In the context of the severe constraints on the public finances and the need to make adjustments, this represents a significant statement of Government priorities.

“As a result of the measures announced today:

·        It will be easier for many micro-enterprises and SMEs to access vital credit

·        It will be easier and cheaper for small businesses to engage in crucial research and development activities

·        It will be cheaper and easier for businesses to export to key growth markets in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

·        It will be easier and cheaper to run a start-up business

ENDS.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Temporary Partial Loan Guarantee Scheme

Minister Bruton yesterday published a tender for the management and operation of this scheme. Some of the key features of the scheme are as follows:

Under the Scheme, the government will partially guarantee loans by traditional lenders to viable businesses that are at the margins of commercial lending decisions and have difficulties accessing credit for either of two reasons:

·        insufficient collateral

·        the lender does not have the skills or experience to carry out a proper assessment of the proposition, due to a lack of knowledge of new sectors, markets or technologies.

The Scheme will be temporary in nature. Initial provision has been made for €450million in new lending to be guaranteed over three years.

The scheme will be demand-led, and the total amount of funding guaranteed will depend on demand, which will be monitored and will be reviewed depending on demand.

If €450million in lending is guaranteed, the Scheme is estimated to benefit over 5000 businesses, and provide over €75million in net benefit to the exchequer. The return on the State’s investment is estimated at 400%.

Micro Finance Loan Scheme

The Government also signed off on the establishment of a Micro Finance Loan Fund, to provide loans on a commercial basis for start-up businesses and micro-enterprises. It is expected that the businesses that will primarily benefit will be those at the margins of commercial lending decisions. The Scheme will use an initial exchequer investment of €10million to leverage further funds from private sources. Over a ten year period, the scheme has the potential to provide up to €100million in additional lending to over 5000 micro-enterprises over that period. The Scheme will be demand-led and the amount of funds provided will depend on the demand from viable businesses

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Lower interest rates needed for spiralling credit card debts


Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said that a more flexible approach needs to be taken by the banks to help people burdened with large credit card debts. Deputy Doherty said the situation facing many people was stark, with a total of €3 billion owed on credit cards in this country.

“Thousands of people are trying in vain to clear their credit card, but getting on top of the debt mountain can be extremely difficult due to the high interest rates being charged. We’re not talking about huge debts here; plenty of people may have run up debts of between €5,000 and €10,000 on their credit cards during the boom, and many of those who are lucky enough to have hung onto their jobs have had their incomes significantly reduced. So how are they supposed to clear a credit card debt, when interest rates of up to 30% are being charged by some banks?

“I have been contacted by a member of the public who faces 20 years of repayments to clear €10,000 of credit card debt due to the penal rate of interest she is being charged. This is a scandalous situation.

“When burdened with this level of interest rates, consumers find the money they are paying off each month is only having an impact on the interest being charged, with minimal reduction on the overall debt. If you are in this cycle, it is very hard to get out of it. I think it’s time the banks took a much more flexible approach, by issuing personal loans at a more reasonable rate of interest to their customers, to allow them to repay their debts.

“This makes economic sense. With reduced monthly repayments, consumers would have more money to spend in the real economy. It wouldn’t require the banks to stump up any cash; this solution would simply involve them taking a more realistic approach by allowing their customers to repay their debts in a sustainable way.

“I have raised this issue with the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, and I intend to pursue this matter further. I would encourage the Minister to examine what powers lie within his office, or that of the Central Bank, to put pressure on our two pillar banks. Under the current code of conduct, lenders cannot make unsolicited contact with consumers in arrears on credit cards – but what about actually helping them to overcome these debts?”

Free Technology event for Older People TRY IT