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What the Parties propose. . .

Fine Gael

The party is promising to give those who took out a mortgage between 2004 and 2008 ("the negative equity generation") additional tax relief on mortgage payments. This would amount up to €166 a month for a €300,000 mortgage.

The party will also force those lenders that are supported by the Irish taxpayers to cut their variable rates by 0.25pc within 100 days of the new government being formed.

It will allow those in mortgage difficulties to access pension funds, ban penalties being imposed on those restructuring a mortgage, and legislate for a non-courts debt settlement system, in line with last year's Law Reform Commission proposals.


Labour in government plans to introduce legislation to establish a Personal Debt Management Agency to provide impartial advice to those in arrears.

This agency would also conduct independent assessments of the distressed borrowers' repayment capacity, and negotiate mortgage and personal debt repayment plans between distressed borrowers and credit institutions.

It will introduce legislation to underpin the code of conduct on mortgages for arrears and repossession.

It says it will introduce far-reaching reforms to the State's mortgage interest supplement scheme, so that in certain cases, those in full-time employment will qualify for some support.

Fianna Fail

Fianna Fail points to what it has done already for those in arrears -- the updating of the code of conduct on mortgage arrears, the extension of mortgage tax relief to 2017 for those who were due to lose it last year, and reduction in stamp duty to facilitate those trading down.

It will, if returned to power, modernise the bankruptcy laws, introduce a non-judicial debt settlement system, and make changes to the mortgage interest supplement scheme.

It will make it easier for those who have had a home repossessed, or handed over the keys, to get social housing.

Irish Independent