26 April 2023
By Tom Collins
Independent TD for Cork South-West Michael Collins has said there are no financial or legislative obstacles in place, except the lack of political will at Government level, to prohibit the introduction of targeted mortgage interest relief measures.
Deputy Collins was speaking during a Dáil debate which heard calls for the delivery of mortgage relief equivalent to 30 per cent of increased interest costs, with a maximum relief to mortgage holders of €1,500 per annum.
The Mizen head based TD also took the opportunity to repeat his call for an immediate independent investigation into the pursuit of O’Donovan’s Hotel of Clonakilty by Everyday Finance:
“As the cost of living continues to spiral and as mortgage interest rates continue their inexorable and incremental increases, the more families in this country are being placed under enormous financial pressure,” said Deputy Collins.
“They do not have the luxury of sweet-heart deals or favourable tax arrangements of the kind that many of our largest multi-national’s avail of. But what they should have is a Government and a Minister for Finance, in Michael McGrath, that will redirect some of the massive tax intake that has been pouring into coffers of his Department.”
“As I understand it the cost of introducing the mortgage interest relief would be about €400 million. That would be easily absorbed in the context of the billions in corporation taxes that are projected to remain consistent for some years.”
“The contrasting treatment of ordinary families and businesses in this regard is striking as the case of the O’Donovan’s and their famed hotel in Clonakilty demonstrates. Here we have a family business that did everything by the book, but who were still hounded by a notorious vulture fund.”
“That is why I was delighted to meet with them last week, and in fact I was the only TD to meet with them, along with Tánaiste Michael Martin. We had a very productive meeting that lasted 1 hour and ten minutes and during that meeting it was made clear that Government must take a firmer grip on the vulture fund situation in this state.”
“I continued to call on the Tánaiste, Deputy Martin, and on the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Coveney, to launch an independent investigation. I do not want any investigation by the bank or the vulture funds. It must be an independent investigation on how the hotel was treated. Farmers, residents and business people in this country are having their loans sold unknown to them”
“An independent investigation must be carried out in this country once and for all,” concluded Deputy Collins.