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 Header Item Business of Dáil
 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions
 Header Item Priority Questions
 Header Item Mortgage Interest Rates

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 837 No. 1

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  2 o’clock

Business of Dáil

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Oral Questions to the Taoiseach shall not be taken today and Leaders' Questions shall be followed by the Order of Business.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Bernard J. Durkan): Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan Is the proposal agreed to? Agreed.

Ceisteanna - Questions

Priority Questions

Mortgage Interest Rates

 1. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan his views on the impact on mortgage holders, tracker and standard variable rate customers and on the economy generally of the possibility that interest rates may begin to climb again over the period ahead; and his plans to address the matter. [16460/14]

Deputy Michael McGrath: Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath Question No. 1 in my name relates to our historically low interest rates, particularly for tracker mortgages. As the Minister knows, the banks are coming before the finance committee this week to give an update on how they are handling the mortgage arrears crisis. The purpose of this question is to have a debate on the impact of any future possible interest rate increases on mortgage holders and on the economy generally.

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan As the Deputy is aware, I have no statutory role in mortgage interest rates charged by regulated financial institutions. It is a commercial matter for the banks concerned. The mortgage interest rates that financial institutions operating in Ireland charge to customers are determined as a result of a commercial decision by the institutions concerned. The general point raised by the Deputy is an important one and worthy of ongoing review by Government. The country does not have control of monetary policy; that responsibility rests with the European Central Bank.

Changes in interest rates over recent years have, by and large, been downward, reaching the current historic low levels, not just in the eurozone but also in the United Kingdom, the United States and elsewhere.


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