Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called for the reinstatement of Mortgage Holidays, as national lockdowns continue and as economic recovery continues to stall.

An Teachta Tóibín:

“The mortgage holiday 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 holiday was allowed to lapse notwithstanding rising case levels across Europe. Now we are in a position, where the majority of the past 3 months have been spent in national lockdowns or heavily restricted Level 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. Then the government announces that the PUP will be taxed. The mortgage holiday is arguably needed now more than ever, with several months of lockdowns and heavy restrictions still before us.”

“Irish banks are an outlier in terms of their mistreatment of mortgage holders, certainly compared to their European counterparts. Irish banks have refused to grant mortgages or consider applications from anyone in receipt of the PUP, support funding/grants, or whose wages are paid through a Covid wage subsidy scheme.

Now, there is still a refusal to agree a mortgage holiday that would bring relief and safety to struggling households across the country. This criticism of their mistreatment is not just coming from the people and politicians, but from mortgage brokers in the industry”.

“In December, the European Banking Authority gave the green light to banks in Europe to extend payment breaks into 2021. The Central Bank could not have come out quicker to criticise the decision and say the new guidelines would not apply to Irish banks. This was seemingly done out of concern for ensuring ‘tailored advice’ for unemployed mortgage holders. We know what happens when Irish banks set the rules and avoid regulation: the Irish people pay the price. Let’s stop that happening here, and immediately reinstate the mortgage holiday.