Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has called on the government to support his proposals to introduce temporary mortgage interest relief for struggling homeowners.
Deputy Doherty was speaking ahead of his party’s motion on the issue, which will be debated when the Dáil returns on Wednesday.
He said that the government cannot continue to sit on their hands while homeowners see their annual mortgage repayments increase by thousands as a result of the tenth ECB interest hike since last summer.
Teachta Doherty said:
“The Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael government has been sitting on their hands, doing nothing as more and more families come under pressure from rising mortgage interest rates.
“The ECB last week announced its 10th interest rate hike since July 2022.
“In that time, repayments have increased by thousands of euros a year for tens of thousands of families.
“It’s time for action now. The government has done nothing and the situation has gone from bad to worse for so many.
“Even before last week’s announcement, the Central Bank estimated that one in five households would see their annual mortgage costs spiral by more than €5,700 as a result of rate hikes, with two in five seeing their annual mortgage costs rise by more than €3,000.
“Now these costs will increase further for so many. This is a massive income shock for struggling households.
“Sinn Féin has been calling for the introduction of a time-limited mortgage interest relief for homeowners hit by interest rate increases for months.
“The government must now provide mortgage interest relief, applicable to principal private residences, equivalent to 30 percent of increased interest costs relative to June 2022, with a maximum benefit per household of €1,500 per annum.
“I urge the government to support our motion, and for Minister Michael McGrath to implement our proposals in next month’s budget.”