Tuesday 21 October 2014

Working mum's anger as lack of help leaves her in massive arrears

Sarah Stack

Published 05/12/2012 | 16:52

Lola Hines with her son Reuben

A WORKING mother has described her frustration at the lack of help in the Budget while she struggles month to month to keep a roof over her son's head.

Lone parent Lola Hynes is in severe mortgage arrears on a two-bedroomed home which she bought just as the property bubble burst.

The 37-year-old said it was an insult for the Government to ask people to pay a 0.18pc property tax when huge stamp duty was paid on homes now in negative equity.

"Losing €10 a month in children's allowance is not going to change my life dramatically," she said.

"But paying €50 to €60 a month on a property tax will.

"I could be looking at €100 less each month when everything is added up, which is a lot when my disposable income is so low."

Ms Hynes, a jewellery valuer who drives to a part-time job with a Dublin city auction house, lives in Sallynoggin, south Dublin, with her five-year-old son Reuben Gotink.

She is in mortgage arrears on her two-bedroom end terrace, which cost €400,000 when she bought it with her ex-partner at the end of 2007.

She has a 38-year mortgage on a home that may be worth just €200,000 now.

"I try to put the mortgage out of my mind because when I think about it I really stress out, but it's always there," she said.

"This was a dream that turned to dust. It was something that was meant to be for our son's future.

"Now it's like a noose around our neck."

Ms Hynes' monthly income of €2,500 includes an after-tax wage of €1,660, €140 in child benefit and €300 for job seekers’ allowance.

But she revealed that some months, depending on interest rates, her mortgage had peaked at €1,900 a month.

"Every six months we do a financial statement with the bank and they go through every single outgoing and incoming and they calculate how much is left over to pay our mortgage," she said.

"I pay what I have to pay, what I can afford, usually between €500 to €700 a month, so there's a massive difference between what's owed.

"That's why I'm in so much arrears."

Other monthly outgoings before Budget 2013 hikes included €180 on her car - petrol, tax and insurance - €240 on childcare, while food, utility bills and insurance added on another €600 euro.

Luxuries include a UPC internet and TV package, mobile phone and 10 rolled cigarettes a day - which she has vowed to give up in the new year for financial and health reasons.

"It all adds up," she added.

"I really am struggling month to month compared to 2007 and it's frustrating.

"My car is about to die and I can't afford a new one.

"At this stage, I should be able to buy a decent car, pay my bills and look after myself.

"But my wages have gone down, I've a lot less money coming in and I'm on my own now so more money is going out."

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in Business