30,000 Limerick mortgage holders being “fooled”

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Independent TD Richard O'Donoghue speaking in the Dáil.

FINANCE Minister Paschal Donohue has been criticised by a Limerick TD for “remaining mute” in light of ongoing interest rate increases by the European Central Bank.

With another hike imminent, Rural Ireland Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue this week hit out at the impact interest rate increases are already having on 2,000 Limerick mortgage holders, who are currently in arrears.

“Government politicians remain mute as banks, who already charge the highest interest rates in the eurozone, are allowed to increase rates further,” Deputy O’Donoghue said this week.

“The Minister for Finance has done absolutely nothing to protect Irish mortgage holders during his tenure; rather, he has sided with banks and bankers through an open-door arrangement.

“His silence as the ECB proceeds to hike interest rates — its tool to combat inflation even though doing this will not reduce energy costs or supply chain disruptions — is truly flabbergasting.”

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Deputy O’Donoghue believes that Limerick’s 30,000 mortgaged households, of which around 20,000 are on trackers directly tied to ECB rates, are being “fooled”.

“The 2,000 Limerick homeowners in mortgage arrears will be brutally impacted by all interest rate hikes, with many facing the prospect of losing their home.

“In Finland, a country similar to Ireland, the average interest rate is just 0.95 percent. Essentially, this translates into people here paying as much as €2,000 more per year, or tens of thousands more in interest rates over the mortgage lifetime compared to our European counterparts for the same product, according to the Central Bank’s own data.”

“People are already under huge financial pressures, and despite its spin, the government has largely done nothing. Consequently, news that the ECB is hiking interest rates further is a real hammer blow to Limerick mortgage holders,” Deputy O’Donoghue added.