Figures obtained by the Fine Gael Spokesperson on Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Deputy Michael Ring, confirm the recession is impacting on the housing sector with more state aid going to home loan payments.
The Westport Deputy had asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Hanafin, the amount of money and the number of recipients of mortgage interest relief to date in 2008, and if she will compare this to the equivalent payments for each of the past five years.
In a Dáil reply Minister Hanafin indicated there were 3,955 recipients of the mortgage interest supplement scheme in 2003 at a cost of €7,663,000. That compared with 3,318 in 2004 for €6,333,000; 3,220 in 2005 for €6,339,000; 3,424 in 2006 at a cost of €7,873,000; 4,111 in 2007 for €12,198,000 and 5,203 up to the end of June this year which cost the State €8,135,000 in payments to the end of May, 2008.
This, according to Dep Ring, confirms the downturn in the economy.
He added: “This clearly shows that people are finding it very difficult to manage and that the recession is now biting. People are finding it hard to meet their mortgage payments as is evidenced in the rise in the number of recipients and the expenditure so far this year.”