Irish Variable Mortgage Rates Double EU Average

by Frank O’Rourke

mortgage_rates

Despite numerous Government pledges to tackle the issue of high variable mortgage rates, variable rates here are still nearly double the Euro area average, according to local Fianna Fail Deputy, Frank O’Rourke.

“According to the recent Central Bank figures, the average interest rate on new mortgages in September of this year stood at 3.31%; this is nearly double the equivalent rate across the Euro area, which stood at 1.86%.”

“Mortgage rates in Ireland remain dramatically out of line with rates charged elsewhere in Europe, and we must ensure that this is addressed. We have pressed for the extension of mortgage relief for those who bought their home during the peak of the boom, however, we must now focus on the variable rate that is being charged by Irish banks. ”

“This means that a borrower with a mortgage of €200,000 is paying around €250 per month more than they would be paying in the average Euro area country.”

“In May 2016, a Fianna Fáil Bill designed to give the Central Bank powers to tackle excessive variable mortgage rates passed second stage in the Dáil. The progress of the Bill through the legislative process has been tortuous and painfully slow. Despite not opposing the Bill at second stage, it is abundantly clear the Government does not want the Bill to become law. We will continue to press for this Bill to be passed.”

“Putting €250 per month back into families will help the local economy, bring down the cost of living and ease wage inflation pressure. I see again this weekend that Fine Gael are trying to make a priority of reducing the top rate of tax, as opposed to focusing on the cost of living for people. Focus on reducing the cost of living will bring a multitudes of benefits to our local economy and hard pressed families that have mortgages,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

Hospital beds out of action due to staff shortages in Naas General Hospital

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James Lawless Naas general hospitalAt a time of major overcrowding crisis in our Emergency Departments, it is simply mind boggling that there is hundreds of hospital beds closed in the health service. In Naas General Hospital there are staff shortages reducing the capacity of inpatient hospital beds. 172 beds were lost to the health system for a variety of reasons. Worryingly 33% of the bed closures were as a direct result of staff shortages. In our own hospital in Naas there are currently two beds down due to staff shortages.

Despite a lot of hot hair from successive Fine Gael Health Ministers, little or no progress has been made in stemming the flow of nursing and medical graduates out of the Irish health system, and even less progress made on attracting those professionals who emigrated from Ireland.

We have on average 400-500 people lying on trolleys every night of the year in our Emergency Departments across the country; yet there are nearly 200 beds out of action, and not being used to allow patients to be admitted to hospitals. Just last night in Naas General Hospital there were 17 people waiting on trollies in the Emergency Department.

There are a large number of beds taken out of use regularly to allow for refurbishment and repair.

I don’t understand why beds are not transferred to the many un-opened hospital wards to ensure that there is no reduction in bed capacity.

89 beds lost nationwide because of refurbishment is a scandal. There are elderly people lying on trolleys for hours on end, sometimes days, and there health and well-being is being damaged.

Minister Harris must finalise and publish the Bed Capacity Review, and outline his plans to reduce the number of closed beds.

For as long as there are sick people lying on trollies in our Emergency Departments, there can be no acceptance for unnecessary bed closures. It’s immoral, in my view, and it must be dealt with as a priority,” concluded Deputy Lawless.at a time of major overcrowding crisis in our Emergency Departments, it is simply mind boggling that there is hundreds of hospital beds closed in the health service. In Naas General Hospital there are staff shortages reducing the capacity of inpatient hospital beds.

172 beds were lost to the health system for a variety of reasons. Worryingly 33% of the bed closures were as a direct result of staff shortages. In our own hospital in Naas there are currently two beds down due to staff shortages.

Despite a lot of hot hair from successive Fine Gael Health Ministers, little or no progress has been made in stemming the flow of nursing and medical graduates out of the Irish health system, and even less progress made on attracting those professionals who emigrated from Ireland.

We have on average 400-500 people lying on trolleys every night of the year in our Emergency Departments across the country; yet there are nearly 200 beds out of action, and not being used to allow patients to be admitted to hospitals. Just last night in Naas General Hospital there were 17 people waiting on trollies in the Emergency Department.

There are a large number of beds taken out of use regularly to allow for refurbishment and repair.

I don’t understand why beds are not transferred to the many un-opened hospital wards to ensure that there is no reduction in bed capacity.

89 beds lost nationwide because of refurbishment is a scandal. There are elderly people lying on trolleys for hours on end, sometimes days, and there health and well-being is being damaged.

Minister Harris must finalise and publish the Bed Capacity Review, and outline his plans to reduce the number of closed beds.

For as long as there are sick people lying on trollies in our Emergency Departments, there can be no acceptance for unnecessary bed closures. It’s immoral, in my view, and it must be dealt with as a priority.

Central Bank Mortgage Rules Should Look at Rent Payments – Lawless

James Lawless Fianna FailCllr James Lawless has backed calls that the Central Bank rules on mortgage lending, in place since February of last year, need to be reviewed to examine the impact they are having on the ability of young couples and individuals to purchase their first home. In particular, he is calling for the rules to be modified in order that an established track record of paying rent is taken as evidence of ability to service a mortgage.

A survey carried out by Daft.ie last September found that it was cheaper to buy rather than to rent in 43 out of 54 areas covered by the survey. This means that, in up to 80% of the country, individuals and couples would actually be financially better off on a monthly basis paying a mortgage than paying rent for an equivalent property.

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Cllr James Lawless Selected by FF to Contest General Election in Kildare North

Cllr. James Lawless

Cllr. James Lawless

Fianna Fáil Councillor James Lawless was selected to contest the upcoming General Election on behalf of the party for Kildare North. The selection follows a convention which took place at the Westgrove Hotel in Clane with more than 200 members in attendance. The convention was chaired by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Timmy Dooley TD.

Speaking following his selection, Cllr Lawless commented, “It is a great honour to be chosen to represent Fianna Fáil in the Kildare North constituency for the upcoming General Election. Fianna Fáil has a proud tradition in Kildare and I look forward to working with the organisation and wider community to regain a seat for the party in Kildare North.”

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Lawless: Irish Water Issue Blocking Estate Maintenance Resolved

Cllr. James Lawless

Cllr. James Lawless

The long awaited protocol from Irish Water for taking in charge of estates finally issued on the 6th November. Cllr. James Lawless has been campaigning for estates to be taken in charge by the council for the past two years. When an estate is taken in charge it means that the council assume responsibility for maintenance such as fixing street lights and repairing broken kerbs. If an estate is not taken in charge it can lie in limbo for years with nobody performing basic maintenance, especially with so many builders going bust in recent years. Cllr. Lawless had been working with a number of estates to get them taken over by the council and the final blocker was Irish Water which had created an obstacle from the 1st January this year on any new taking in charges.

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