Man who unearthed tracker mortgage scandal says consumers should receive two month Covid-19 bills amnesty

A financial adviser who played a major role in uncovering the €1bn tracker mortgage scandal has called for “all payments, bills and direct debits” to be stopped for two months.

Padraic Kissane, who helped expose the tracker scandal that saw almost 40,000 mortgage holders wrongly put on more expensive loans, said “financially the entire country should be put on hold for a period of two months”.

He said loans, Vat, other tax, rent, insurance, mortgages, health insurance, and bills should cease until more financial certainty around the world was forthcoming.

Wall Street saw one of its worst days yesterday when stocks plummeted as investors jettisoned risky assets, obliterating gains made in 2019.

The volatility of financial markets has seen central bankers and policymakers scrambling to stem the bleeding across the globe, while SMEs all over Ireland have been directly impacted by the spread of Covid-19.

In relation to Ireland, Mr Kissane said: “Redefining the term of what is essential and what is non-essential is and will change dramatically in the next few days, weeks and months ahead. 

The term ‘non-essential’ will become more related to what is and what is not life-essential and we must at the very least plan for this occurring.”

Mr Kissane, who was appointed to the Irish Culture Banking Board in the wake of the tracker scandal, said putting all non-essential matters on hold for two months “will allow the areas under pressure in terms of employment, simply deal with it without the related consequences of the effects of for example, having to let go staff and the immediate pressure that causes”.

He claims such a shutdown would allow for a “reassurance period” to occur, saying it would help when normality and stability are in sight.

Taking time now to pause is a necessary tool to stave off disaster, Mr Kissane said: “Time is a weapon here in dealing with this unprecedented virus.

“We need to use time as the weapon is in dealing with the related issues.

“Time won’t stop the virus, but it will help us plan and deal with the fallout from the many thousands that will become infected.”

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