Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has stated that close to 300,000 households will benefit from the extension of mortgage interest relief beyond 2017.
New figures supplied to Deputy McGrath indicate that 297,800 owner occupiers were in receipt of mortgage interest relief in 2016 with families projected to receive an average tax relief of €600 this year.
In the course of negotiations with Fine Gael on the Confidence and Supply arrangement that underpins the current Dáil, Fianna Fáil insisted on an extension of the mortgage interest relief scheme which was due to end completely at the end of 2017.
Deputy McGrath commented, “Mortgage interest relief for home loans is currently available to people who bought their home between 2004 and 2012 with nearly 300,000 mortgage holders currently in receipt of relief. The vast bulk of these bought between 2004 and 2008.
“Until Fianna Fáil secured the extension of the scheme, these families were set to lose tax relief on their monthly repayments by the end of 2017. This would mean the loss of an average of €600 per annum per household.
“This tax relief is a very important financial support for families, particularly those struggling with very high variable mortgage rates. The sudden withdrawal of this relief from existing homeowners would have represented a severe blow to families who bought their home when prices were at their highest. Many of these families are now juggling huge outgoings including their monthly mortgage, childcare costs and medical bills.
“I am pleased that Fianna Fáil was in a position to secure a commitment that the government will extend the scheme ‘on a tapered basis’ beyond 2017. While there will be some reduction in the relief in 2018, the extension of the relief will be of very significant benefit to many mortgage holders.
“Keeping the relief is particularly important in the context of recent comments from the President of the Bundesbank that ECB interest rates were likely to have to rise to combat inflation in the Eurozone. We will insist that Fine Gael live up to their side of the bargain in the framing of the next Budget,” concluded McGrath.