Mortgage holders left behind by government – Farrell

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Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell has criticised the government for not providing relief for mortgage holders, despite the European regulator allowing for the reactivation of Covid-19 payment breaks since December 2.

The local TD said that borrowers are feeling the financial strain of Level 5 restrictions, with a Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland survey finding that over 20% of its members are struggling to meet their mortgage payments.

“On 2nd December, the European Banking Authority reactivated its Covid-19 payment break guidelines to provide support and relief to borrowers,” said Deputy Farrell.

“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 31 March.”

The Sinn Féin TD said that 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,” she said.

“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.”