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Need to tackle mortgage problems of those on low and average incomes — Ferris

5 February, 2011


Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris has said that reversing budget cuts and abolishing the Universal Social Charge is the most effective way to help those struggling to pay mortgages.

He said new models needed to be investigated to tackle the mortgage payment problems of those on low and average incomes.

The Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson criticised Fine Gael’s proposals to increase mortgage interest relief for all first time buyers in 2004-2008 as ill-thought out and not based on fairness.

 Martin Ferris said:

 “The Government is so focused on bailing out the banks that real difficulties faced by ordinary people are being ignored.

“Job losses, wage cuts and tax hikes introduced by the government mean more and more people on low and middle incomes are struggling to meet mortgage repayments.

“The Fine Gael proposal to increase mortgage interest relief for all first time buyers in 2004-2008 is ill-thought out. Typical for that party it is not based on fairness. Not every single person who purchased between 2004-2008 is in negative equity.

“Reversing the budget cuts, including wage cuts and abolishing the universal social charge would be a far more effective way to help those struggling to meet mortgage repayments.  

“For Sinn Féin any proposal to tackle this issue has to be based on helping those who are most in need. Banks bear a huge responsibility for the position many on low and middle incomes find themselves in.  They lent buyers much more than they could afford to pay back. New models to assist those on low and average incomes who are in arrears or negative equity should be investigated.   

“This should include a system of recourse for those struggling to pay mortgages whose difficulties are primarily the result of reckless lending by financial institutions.”

ENDS

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