Ivan Yates’ former party Fine Gael is planning to unveil plans within the next few weeks to overhaul the country’s archaic bankruptcy laws in a bid to boost enterprise and job creation, The Sunday Tribune reports.

Deirdre Clune, the party’s spokeswoman on innovation, has completed the policy document and it has been approved by her front-bench colleagues. She says that under the current legislation, bankruptcy is viewed as “the result of money mismanagement or fraud. Little thought is given to the people who have worked hard but seen their businesses fail due to the current recession. Our laws take the same view and penalise people for 12 years after the declaration.”

The new policy is likely to form part of the Fine Gael manifesto is about helping people “who have been unlucky” rather than reckless, Clune says.

“I am looking at this from the innovation and enterprise perspective and, as the Innovation Task Force has recommended, if we want to encourage people to establish businesses then we need to overhaul our bankruptcy legislation.

“We have to focus on indigenous enterprise and create local jobs by making sure the threat of bankruptcy is less of a hindrance to job creation.”

Under the current law, if someone is declared bankrupt, he or she cannot get a loan for more than €630 without having to disclose their status. Their assets are automatically vested and even their home could be at risk.

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