The fact that almost one in four family home mortgages are now in trouble confirms that this is absolutely the wrong time to introduce a property tax on the family home, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.

Deputy McGrath stated: “The figures released by the Central Bank today show that almost one on four family home mortgages are either in arrears or have already been restructured. This confirms Fianna Fáil’s view that the introduction of a property tax at this time is a major mistake.

“The reality is that 180,000 mortgage holders are experiencing difficulty in repaying the mortgage on the family home at this time. What is the logic behind introducing a property tax on people already struggling to pay the mortgage? The truth is that a huge number of families will simply not be able to pay this property tax.

“The figures released today also confirm for the first time that 34% of buy to let mortgages are now in arrears or have been restructured. Many of these landlords will inevitably end up in the insolvency regime. The introduction of a property tax will result in a lot of landlords getting out of the business with the inevitable consequence of rents increasing further.

“On the eve of the government introducing the property tax bill in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil again calls on the government to abandon this plan. This property tax will push many ordinary families over the edge and should be abandoned before it is too late.”