August 10, 2023
Action needed to address mortgage misery as interest rates continue to rise – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has called for the introduction of temporary and targeted mortgage interest relief to support households as interest rates continue to rise.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“Workers and families continue to see their mortgage interest costs rise.

“This is a massive income shock for households in the grip of a wider cost of living crisis.

“This is despite retail banks recording a massive growth in their profits and net interest income – largely due to interest rate rises by the ECB rather than any improved performance or efficiencies.

“For months Sinn Féin have called for the introduction of temporary and targeted mortgage interest relief to support struggling households.

“Yesterday the Central Bank confirmed that the average interest rate on new mortgage agreements has risen above four percent and the European average.

“The average Irish interest rate on outstanding mortgages was 52 percent higher than the European average.

“The Central Bank recently estimated that one in five households will see their annual mortgage costs spiral by more than €5,700 as a result of these rate hikes.

“With two in five seeing their annual mortgage costs rise by more than €3,000.

“Households who had their mortgages sold off to vulture funds without their consent, but with the support of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, are now facing interest rates as high as 10 percent.

“It is clear that action is needed.

“Despite the false promises of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who supported these loan sales, these borrowers have no option to fix and are being hit with interest rates much higher than those being charged by mainstream banks.

“The Minister for Finance should convene a meeting with the Central Bank and retail banks and chart a way forward.”

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