The Consumer Price Index division with the largest increase in the 12 months to August 2023 was Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+17.3 per cent), with actual rents for housing and mortgage interest increasing by 18.3 per cent, and Mortgage Interest alone increasing by 51.3 per cent.
Budget 2024 introduced Mortgage Interest Relief at 20 per cent for borrowers with mortgages between €80,000 and €500,000 who can demonstrate an increase in mortgage interest in the year 2023. This will be available to an estimated 165,000 mortgage holders, many would have been on low tracker rates in the previous decade, irrespective of affordability. Social Justice Ireland regrets that a more targeted approach was not taken with a specific subsidy for borrowers who are struggling with their mortgage payments, particularly holders of the 17,545 home mortgages in arrears between 90 and 365 days as of June 2023.
We further regret that more support was not provided to families in long-term mortgage arrears who have not recovered since the 2008 crash. A total of 6,414 mortgages (PDH and BTL) were in arrears of more than 10 years in June 2023. Social Justice Ireland has previously proposed an equity scheme for borrowers in long term mortgage arrears for whom Mortgage to Rent and insolvency are not suitable.
Our full Budget 2024 analysis is available now: Budget 2024 Analysis and Critique | Social Justice Ireland