Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Doherty says Government have overseen ‘failure after failure’ on housing and mortgages

1 December, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the government’s initiatives to help struggling homeowners have all been failures. Referring to a series of parliamentary replies mapping out the scale of this failure Deputy Doherty said Fine Gael and Labour had overseen “failure after failure”.

He pointed to figures showing that the mortgage-to-rent scheme and Joan Burton’s Independent Financial Advice Service have been spectacular failures while MABs has actually been cut during the debt crisis.

The Donegal South-West TD said:

“One of the main planks of the government plan to tackling the mortgage crisis was the mortgage to rent scheme. The Labour Party told us that 3,500 families would benefit. Over 3 years have passed and only 246 families have been able to avail of the scheme. Only 3 homes in the whole of Donegal have been helped by the scheme in three and a half years. Not a single successful conclusion under the scheme has taken place in Galway, Longford, Monaghan or Sligo.

“When this government came to power the excellent MABS service on which so many people rely was funded by €18.3m of taxpayers’ money. This year this it received only €17.9m. In 2013 when some MABS offices were reporting a quadrupling in demand, the numbers in the Citizens’ Information Board were actually cut.  The Labour Party had actually said that MABS would be strengthened into a Personal Debt Management Agency with strong legal powers.  

“Minister Burton’s other initiative was to set up an Independent Financial Advice Service to help struggling homeowners and others. We were told that the banks would foot the Bill and it would cost them €10m we were told. A crack team of 2,000 accountants would be available we were told.

“Based on the figures the Tánaiste gave me last week, it appears that only just over 2,000 people have available of this scheme at a negligible cost to the banks. Not only have Fine Gael and Labour failed to provide housing they have let down those who relied on the State for advice.” 

Connect with Sinn Féin