Kildare TD hits out at new mortgage law

KILDARE is suffering more than others when it comes to public support for private mortgage holders, Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy said, writes Henry Bauress.

KILDARE is suffering more than others when it comes to public support for private mortgage holders, Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy said, writes Henry Bauress.

Last week, Deputy Murphy today called on the Government to immediately suspend enforcement of Section 12 of the new Social Welfare and Pensions Act which imposes strict new conditions on new applicants for Mortgage Interest Supplement.

She placed a motion on the Dáil Order Paper for 3 July seeking the annulment of the measure stating that of the many changes in this year’s Social Welfare Act, the changes to Mortgage Interest Supplement are amongst the most worrying.

As of 18 June last, when the changes were signed into effect by Minister Joan Burton, new applicants for the supplement will have to demonstrate that they have abided by the terms of an alternative payment arrangement with their bank or building society for a minimum of a year.

Deputy Murphy said this forces people, who in many cases might otherwise get the breathing space they need to get back on their feet without needing to approach their lenders, into a humbling situation whereby lenders have a direct say over a lot of their day-to-day spending. It also forces people to take on the possibility of negative credit ratings which they might have avoided.

Deputy Murphy said rent assistance was also more a problem in Kildare which had a relatively low among of people getting help with the Rental Accommodation scheme relative to the numbers on the county’s housing list.

Properties are difficult to rent in north Kildare as the limit imposed by the Government.

In Leixlip, she said it is €725 compared to €925 in Lucan.

- Henry Bauress