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Government must provide support to homeowners hit by rising interest rates - Pearse Doherty TD

25 April, 2023 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty has called for the introduction of a temporary Mortgage Interest Support Scheme to provide relief to homeowners hit by rising interest rates.

This comes as the Dáil will debate his party’s motion today that calls on the government to act on this issue.

Teachta Doherty said:

“In the grip of a cost of living crisis, rising mortgage rates are putting homeowners under increased financial pressure.

“In the context of last week’s forecast of a General Government surplus in excess of €10 billion this year, it is clear that action can be taken to support them.

“Last month, the European Central Bank increased its main lending rate for the sixth time since July 2022 to 3.5 percent.

“Mortgage repayments are rising by colossal amounts – by thousands of euros a year for many, with some now paying interest rates as high as 8%.  

“The Free Legal Advice Centre have said that many are now at risk of falling into arrears, while MABS have warned that recent interest rate hikes are having disastrous effects.

“Rising mortgage rates are also putting the possibility of buying a home beyond the reach of aspiring first-time buyers, many of whom continue to suffer with crippling rents and rising house prices due to the government’s failure to deliver affordable housing.  

“Sinn Féin has repeatedly called for the introduction of temporary mortgage interest relief, which would support struggling mortgage holders by up to €1,500.

"The government has failed to listen with the situation approaching a crisis point for many.

“The government can and must reverse its position and mandate the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, to commit to his previous position on this issue in 2018 when he supported mortgage interest relief.

“Such a measure is sensible and necessary.”

Sinn Féin's mortgage interest relief proposals can be read here

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