Varadkar ‘disconnected’ from rural financial struggles

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has criticised Leo Varadkar’s comments on vulture funds, after the Taoiseach said they were “more effective” at writing down debt than banks.

Fitzmaurice, a TD for Roscommon-Galway, claimed that Varadkar doesn’t understand how these funds work, and said the Taoiseach’s comments were “beyond belief”.

“Any group, investment company or vulture fund that comes into this country and buys a loan book from a bank at massively reduced rates, and then demands all of the money owed from the loanee – plus other expenses – obviously doesn’t have much regard for the people of Ireland,” he said.

Does the Taoiseach need to be reminded that it was the people of Ireland who bailed out the banks or that it was the people of Ireland who paid increased taxes in order to turn the economy around.

Fitzmaurice accused the Taoiseach of being disconnected from the financial struggles faced by people in rural Ireland, including farmers:

“His recent comments show an evident disconnect between somebody who was lucky enough to enjoy a privileged upbringing, and the people who are faced with constant financial struggles on a daily basis in rural parts of Ireland,” he said.

Fitzmaurice went on to highlight that it isn’t possible to negotiate a deal with these funds directly, as they usually employ a ‘middle man’ to deal with groups or individuals.

Following his latest comments, it appears as if the Taoiseach has never sat in front of middle men in an effort to negotiate with vulture funds on the behalf of his constituents.

Fitzmaurice praised the work done by some groups, such as the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation, which seek to keep people in their homes, and added that the Taoiseach should be interacting with these bodies.

“It would be extremely beneficial for the Taoiseach to spend some time with people who try and negotiate a way forward for a lot of people who have fallen into financial difficulty,” He concluded.