Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD has expressed his concern regarding current mortgage interest rates in Ireland and has said the formation of a European Single Market for mortgages should be examined in detail.

The average standard variable rate for a mortgage in Ireland is currently 3.26%. This is compared to a rate of less than 2.0% in the Eurozone where the average stands at 1.83%.

He said, “The rates which exist in Ireland put us on an uneven footing in comparison to other European economies. They place an inflationary pressure on wages and which in turn undermine Irish companies exporting to Europe and even beyond.

“Strengthening Central Bank oversight on behalf of mortgage holders in Ireland would go some way towards forging a common mortgage market in Europe.

“Prospective mortgage holders are restricted by the lack of choice available in Ireland in areas of financial services and often do not receive the best offers available on the continent because of the absence of an EU single market in this sector.

Equally mortgage lenders cannot pursue the possibility of growing their business because there isn’t a fair single market for this kind of credit. There are obstacles that restrict and prevent these businesses from trading in another European member state.

“I believe that every effort should be made by Ireland among European counterparts to establish an EU Single Market in this sector to encourage any potential growth in enterprise and jobs.

He concluded, “The many benefits that go with being a member of the European Single Market should not be limited, they should be extended to financial services and businesses to support consumers who are growing increasinly frutsrated by the lack of choice in shopping for a mortgage in Ireland.”