Aontú Deputy Leader & Cllr for Mid Ulster Denise Mullen has called for the reinstatement of Mortgage Breaks, as lockdowns continue and as economic recovery continues to stall.

Cllr Denise Mullen:

“The mortgage break implemented during the first lockdown was a timely and much-need protection for struggling families and households fearing eviction and not knowing where their next pay cheque was coming from. Inexplicably, that break was allowed to lapse notwithstanding rising case levels across Europe. Now we are in a position, where the majority of the past 6 months have been spent in lockdowns or heavily regulated Tier 3 scenarios, and people are struggling. Many have lost jobs, others put on wage subsidy schemes, whilst support grants and funding have been slow to come from government. The mortgage break is arguably needed now more than ever, with several months of lockdowns and heavy restrictions still before us.”

“Instead of the blanket mortgage break in the South, we in the North were given an opportunity to apply for a mortgage break. Banks argued that a mortgage break was not the best option for all customers and instead would proceed on a case-by-case basis. The unpaid interest during this period would be recoverable by the banks at a later date. Our mortgage break wasn’t even that. It was the equivalent of entering a draw to win a mortgage break. Still to those who received the break, it was invaluable relief. This was done with the ‘best interests’ of individual customers at heart. We know what happens when banks set the rules and avoid regulation: the people pay the price. Let’s stop that happening here, and immediately reinstate the mortgage holiday. Furthermore, this mortgage break should not be on the Banks terms but ours. It should be a blanket mortgage break for a defined period of time to the equal benefit of all mortgage holders.”