Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, says there was a dramatic decline in state support for people receiving Mortgage Interest Supplement in 2012.
The figures were released to Deputy O’Dea as a result of a Parliamentary Question tabled to the Minister for Social Protection.
Deputy O’Dea commented: “The figures released to me show there has been a major collapse in the numbers receiving Mortgage Interest Supplement Scheme (MIS). At the same time, the number of families in mortgage arrears is still increasing, in fact the number of families in mortgage arrears has doubled in Ireland since this Government came to power.
“Support for these struggling families has fallen by more than a third from €67.9 million in 2011 to €41.8 million in 2013.
“It is shocking that rather than increasing the financial support to match the growth in these figures, the Government has actually cut the MIS support by over a third. This is at a time when we know from recent figures from the Central Bank that an average of 250 mortgages a week are falling into arrears. Minister Joan Burton must come clean and explain why there has been such a drop in the numbers of families receiving MIS.
“Minister Joan Burton would be well advised to address the collapse in the number of families in receipt of MIS rather than flying kite after kite leaking information about possible cuts in October’s budget. People who depend on social welfare are being used as pawns in the games between both Government parties. The negotiations for the budget which are seemingly being carried out in public are proving highly distressful for families that cannot take any more Government cuts.”