Fianna Fáil TD for Laois Sean Fleming has slammed the Government over its continuing wind down of the Mortgage Interest Supplement scheme. The scheme is in place to help families who are struggling to meet their mortgage repayments.
Deputy Fleming said, “This scheme plays a vital role in helping families meet their mortgage repayments following a serious change in their financial situation. It ensures that they can continue to keep up with their repayments and provides a safety net against becoming homeless.
“Former Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton made a cruel decision to close the scheme to new entrants in 2014. Since then the Government has attempted to force people off the scheme at every opportunity. In 2011 there were 18,988 families getting support under the scheme. This figure has fallen to a paltry 2,717 in 2016.
“I’ve received worrying information from Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar indicating that he wants to discontinue the scheme in January 2018 at the very latest. There can be no doubt about it, this will increase the risk of people becoming homeless. Fine Gael talk about wanting to address the homeless crisis, but when push comes to shove they implement policies which do the exact opposite.
“It’s particularly worrying that Minister Varadkar says he will appoint ‘Court Mentors’ to people who are going through repossession proceedings. These mentors will be of little comfort to those who are on the verge of losing their homes,” said Deputy Fleming.