Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has said the Home Choice Loan Scheme is in urgent need of a radical revamp.

Deputy McGrath made the comments after receiving new figures which reveal that not a single mortgage has been made available under the current scheme since 2014. The figures further show that only 11 mortgages have been drawn down since 2011.

“It is incredible that this government-backed mortgage scheme for first time buyers has delivered so few mortgages. The main reason for this is that so few people have even heard of it. At a time when first time buyers are struggling to get on the property ladder, you would think that a government-backed mortgage scheme would be thriving. However the opposite is the case.

“The government needs to revamp the Home Choice Loan Scheme and start marketing it. There is undoubtedly a role for a State-backed mortgage scheme in the present climate. It is clear that the local authorities have little or no interest in this scheme so perhaps the role should be given to someone else, such as local Credit Unions.

“The Credit Union network has immense potential to deliver badly needed competition in the mortgage market. However Government support will be required to allow Credit Unions to do this in a meaningful way. A Registrar for Credit Unions will be needed at the very least,” concluded Deputy McGrath.