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Ferris slams interest rate increase for local authority mortgage holders

21 October, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Housing Martin Ferris TD has slammed the decision by the Housing Finance Agency to raise interest rates for local authority mortgage holders by .5%.
The Kerry North TD said:
“Local authority mortgages are subject to a variable interest rate that usually tracks the ECB rate. However, the Finance Agency refused to pass on the last ECB decrease and now, even without any change in the ECB rate, it has imposed a .5% increase. This will cause enormous difficulty for local authority mortgage holders.
“Only this week it was revealed that the level of arrears for local authority mortgage loans is six times higher than for loans from banks and building societies. This is because local authority mortgage holders are low income by definition. They are the homeowners who suffer most from interest rate increases. It is incomprehensible that this decision would be taken in the wake of that finding.
“The government has repeatedly stated that it cannot interfere in the interest rate decisions taken by banks. It cannot use that excuse for local authority rates. The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, must step in immediately.” ENDS

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