Dáil Éireann - Volume 428 - 24 March, 1993

Written Answers. - High Interest Rates.

94. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance the proposals, if any, he has to alleviate the impact of the high interest rates caused by the currency crisis on industry, agriculture and mortgage holders; if he expects this matter to be addressed by EC heads of Government; if, as a result, he anticipates a sufficient fall in interest rates in the future to resolve the problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): Interbank interest rates have fallen sharply since the devaluation of the Irish pound and this has facilitated reductions in retail and mortgage rates. These developments will have been of considerable benefit to borrowers. The Deputy will also be aware of the taxation and other measures which I announced recently in the budget to help mortgage holders. In anticipation of these developments, I announced on 30 January that proposed exchange rate guarantee schemes for business and for mortgage institutions would not be implemented. The question of Irish interest rate levels is not to be addressed by EC Heads of Government.