FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Ireland’s Home Mortgage Crisis: No Debt Relief

by CAOIMHGHIN Ó CROIDHEÁIN

We are living in a society where the combination of fractional-reserve banking (lending out multiples of deposits) helped along by quantitative easing (printing almost unlimited quantities of money) based on fiat currencies (money without intrinsic value) has created exponential growth for the world’s financial elites. This led to unprecedented bubbles in the property market as banks made it easy for people to borrow more money  than they would have been allowed in the past when a conservative banker guideline for a home buyer was to have a two to two and a half times mortgage-to-salary ratio.

In contrast to these methods for almost unlimited sources of (false) wealth conjured up by financial elites, workers (borrowers) have only one source – wages – which are going into decline due to  government cutbacks and increased taxes. Yet despite this obvious anomaly, whereby the banks get bailouts with even more money, borrowers are expected to pay back, and in full, under threat of repossession, every single cent of the flawed money lent to them to pay exorbitant house prices inflated by excessive lending in the first place.

According to David Hall, Director, Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation:

‘The Irish mortgages crisis, now into its sixth year, is still raging beyond any control of the authorities. Per latest figures from the Central Bank of Ireland, 186,785 mortgages (including BTL) in Ireland are at risk (in arrears, restructured or in repossession), accounting for an unprecedented 25.3% of all mortgage accounts still outstanding.’

Hall goes on to state that ‘with some 650,000-750,000 estimated people residing in the households with the principal residence in mortgages difficulties, we are witnessing a wholesale destruction of savings, pensions and wealth of several generations of Irish people.’

As if that wasn’t bad enough the government is introducing property charges from 1st July. Media discussion of these issues revolve around valuations of properties and not around the huge amounts of tax already paid to the government when the houses were purchased or  the fairness of such a tax on properties which were bought during the bank-inflated boom, delusionally misnamed yet commonly known as the ‘Celtic Tiger’.

Media pundits, sounding like poodles discussing the length of their leashes, have not questioned the ethics of forcing people to pay back such huge sums of money under the rubric that allowing people to write-down a portion of the debt would cause a ‘moral hazard’ (as if the initial lending spree was itself moral). Similarly, there is little discussion of the property tax deferral option for low income persons, a sinister move, which implies, (like with the hard line taken on mortgage repayments) that exemption is not an option any more for low wage earners but only more accumulated debt (with interest) to be paid sometime in the future- further impoverishing those least able to pay.

Adding insult to injury, the Department of Finance secretary general John Moran spoke recently of an “unnaturally low level of repossessions” and that ‘homeowners could not expect the taxpayer to subsidise them to remain in a house “that is beyond their means”.’ It is interesting to note that ‘their means’ didn’t seem to matter at all when it came to lending out the huge amounts of money at the outset.

Credite posteri – Believe it, future generations (Horace).

Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is a prominent Irish artist who has exhibited widely around Ireland. His work consists of paintings based on cityscapes of Dublin, Irish history and geopolitical themes (http://gaelart.net/). His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country at http://gaelart.blogspot.ie/.

More articles by:

Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is an Irish artist who has exhibited widely around Ireland. His work consists of paintings based on cityscapes of Dublin, Irish history and geopolitical themes.  His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country at http://gaelart.blogspot.ie/.

November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail