Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Small Dwellings Loans Interest.

asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware that the small dwellings loans interest rate, which was increased to 5¾ per cent. about 15 months ago, has recently been reduced; and, if so, if he will take steps to ensure that persons who borrowed from Dublin County Council at the higher rate will now be given the benefit of this reduction.

The Deputy's suggestion is contrary to the contract made by a borrower with the lending authority, which provides for a fixed interest rate without fluctuation up or down.

Does the Minister not agree that the people to whom this question refers have suffered hardship by reason of the fact that they have been charged, under the contract with the county council, a higher rate than is at present prevailing and are likely to be charged that rate for the next 30 or 35 years? In the light of that, does it not strike the Minister that he should take some steps, in justice to these people, to have recompense made available to them?

I would remind the Deputy that the local loans administration makes it quite impossible. As the Deputy knows, the terms of lending are more favourable than those of private agencies.