Condemning the government’s decision to abolish the Mortgage Interest Supplement, Fianna Fáil Dublin Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien stated that “Across Ireland over 143,000 families are in mortgage arrears. Yet in the midst of this national crisis the government has not only failed to make progress towards a sustainable solution they have now hit struggling homeowners with the abolition of the mortgage interest supplement. For many indebted households this will be the last straw”. Around 13,000 homeowners around the country are in receipt of the Mortgage Interest Supplement.
Reviewing the payment Senator Darragh O’Brien said that “Mortgage interest supplement works well as a preventative measure to stop people falling in to arrears on their mortgage payments. It is focused on low income families, helps to keep people in their homes and the average payment is less than that for rent supplement. This decision lets down those families working to keep their homes very badly.”
Commenting on the government’s policy over the past number of years Senator O’Brien commented, “The government has have been steadily eroding access to the payment since it came into power. The numbers in receipt have fallen by 42% since 2011 despite the number of people in mortgage arrears greater than 90 days nearly doubling over the same period. Now they have gone the whole way and abolished the payment altogether despite having not set up a sustainable resolution process for homeowners in difficulties.”
Senator O’Brien concluded, “The scale of the mortgage crisis in Ireland, and particularly in Dublin, demands real action by the government but all we have seen is continued inaction by the banks. The fact that there are still only 309 split mortgages in operation and a permanent interest rate reduction has been applied to only 254 mortgage accounts at the end of June shows us just how far we have to go to address the extent of the problem. Instead the government is hammering those struggling to keep their heads above the water with the abolition of this vital payment.”