Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has criticised the government for refusing to provide relief for hard-pressed mortgage holders, despite the European Banking Authority allowing for the reactivation of Covid-19 payment breaks since 2nd December.
McGuinness is a member of the European Committee of the Regions and has been following the authorisation of mortgage breaks across EU member states and regions over recent months.
“On 2nd December, the European Banking Authority reactivated its Covid-19 payment break guidelines to provide support and relief to borrowers.
“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 31st March.
“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.
“This is despite so many workers and families being under significant financial pressure due to Level 5 restrictions.
“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.”