Thursday, 19 July 1973
Dáil Eireann Debate
Dr. O'Connell: asked the Minister for Local Government if he is satisfied that building societies are not advancing loans for purposes other than private dwellings; and if he will state the means employed to ensure compliance with the regulations on this matter.
Mr. Donegan: One of the conditions attached to the Government subvention to building societies which was introduced on the 23rd May is that it will be payable only to societies which maintain an embargo on lending for purposes other than housing, although loans for non-housing purposes to which a society were inescapably committed on the 23rd May may be made without prejudicing their claim to the subvention. It is intended that the arrangements for payment of the subvention to each society will provide for due certification of compliance with the relevant conditions.
Mr. Donegan: Yes, but very little has, in fact, been advanced for other purposes. They have now been told that they will not get their subvention from the Government unless they keep up the amount for housing. I can give the Deputy the percentage figures for lending: house lending in 1966, 92.3 per cent of the total; 1967, 92 per cent; 1968, 93.8 per cent; 1969, 94 per cent; 1970, 95.3 per cent; 1971, 93.1 per cent; and 1972, 95 per cent.
Dr. O'Connell: Is it not a fact that there are regulations relating to building societies and their rights? The purpose of building societies was to provide loans for houses for the working classes. That was the original regulation.
Mr. Donegan: In relation to the discussions which the Minister had with the building societies on 23rd May, the subventions they will get will be payable only to societies which maintain an embargo on lending for purposes other than housing.
Mr. R.P. Burke: The figure the Minister gave was for all of the building societies. He has not got a breakdown of the specific societies which have been allocating a hell of a lot more than the percentage quoted here?
Mr. Donegan: As indicated in discussions with representatives of the  principal building societies on 23rd May, a subvention will be payable only to societies which maintain an embargo on lending for purposes other than housing. In other words, we are directing all their efforts towards housing.
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