Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has criticised the government for refusing to provide relief for hard-pressed mortgage holders, despite the European regulator allowing for the reactivation of Covid-19 payment breaks since 2nd December.
This comes as borrowers continue to feel the financial strain of Level 5 restrictions, with a survey from the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland finding that over 20 percent of its members are struggling to meet their mortgage payments and 39 percent are struggling to repay business loans.
Teachta Doherty said:
“On 2nd December, the European Banking Authority reactivated its Covid-19 payment break guidelines to provide support and relief to borrowers.
“This would have allowed the government and the banks to put in place payment break extensions for the duration of the latest round of public health restrictions, with an application deadline of 31st March.
“This would have allowed banks to provide payment breaks without charging additional interest or impacting the credit records of borrowers. However, the government have refused to secure or even seek this extension for mortgage-holders and SMEs.
“This is despite so many workers and families being under significant financial pressure due to Level 5 restrictions.
“A survey from the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland has found that over 20 percent of its members are struggling to meet their mortgage payments and 39 percent are struggling to repay their business loans.
“The reintroduction of targeted Covid-19 payment breaks would provide real relief to such borrowers, but they are being denied this relief by a slow and unresponsive government.”