Recent comments made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claiming that mortgage interest rates in Ireland are high due to low levels of home repossessions by banks have been slammed by independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

The “astonishing” comments fly in the face of people who know what is going on around this country, the Roscommon-Galway TD said.

Speaking on the matter, he said: “Once again, our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar seems to be out of touch with what is going on around this country.

“It seems as if he is now trying to pit people that are in an unfortunate situation against people who may be well off.”

According to Deputy Fitzmaurice, the Taoiseach’s comments completely disregard the fact that the Irish people were forced to bail out the banks not that long ago.

Continuing, he said: “Day in and day out, we see where the banks are selling off loans that are non-performing at 30%, 40% or 50% of their value.

“But when those people try to do a deal with the vulture funds that are buying these loans, they are pushed to their absolute limits until every last drop of blood is taken from them.

“People need to understand that these vulture funds are based outside of this country and that they are making money for conglomerates.

“Is this the way that we should treat our own people? How will we build an economy if we do not get people back on track once again?

The independent TD also raised concerns regarding the “unbelievable” mental stress that families involved with these vulture funds are enduring.

“These vulture funds are here for a short-term gain. As we see already, the deals that they are willing to do are only for a maximum of between 18 months and two years.

“They do not care about Irish people; they do not care about our country – all they are worried about is making a good return for those fat cats that have invested money with them.”

Deputy Fitzmaurice called on the Taoiseach to “get real” and support the people of Ireland, rather than having some of his senior ministers going to Bilderberg conferences once a year in order to “rub shoulders with the elite”.

“I would rather work with the ordinary person any day of the week, because they are who keep this country going,” Deputy Fitzmaurice concluded.

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