Government withdraws amendment to Fianna Fáil mortgage bill and avoids defeat in vote

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

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Michael McGrath. Image: RollingNews.ie

The Government has climbed down in the Dáil tonight and avoided an embarrassing defeat in a vote.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan withdrew an amendment to Fianna Fáil legislation on cutting mortgage interest rates that would have deferred further discussion of the bill for six months.

When the bill was about to be put to a second stage vote, the minority Government did not vote against it.

The proposed legislation will now be referred to Committee.

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath says there is only one purpose for this legislation.

He told the Dáil: "This is not about a political victory [...] This bill is essentially about acting for the common good, and it's about securing a fair deal for mortgage holders".

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

The minority Government had previously indicated there might be constitutional problems with the bill - a claim refuted by Fianna Fáil.