FF pledges to push for EU single mortgage market

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FF pledges to push for EU single mortgage market


Billy Kelleher. Photo: Collins
Billy Kelleher. Photo: Collins

Fianna Fáil is promising any candidates elected to the European Parliament will push for an EU mortgage market.

Ireland has some of the highest mortgage interest rates in Europe, averaging more than 3pc.

The party’s manifesto argues that if Irish home-buyers were able to obtain a mortgage from another EU country it would drive down prices.

Similarly they want to create an EU-wide insurance market in the hope that extra competition would open more options for consumers.

Ireland South candidate Billy Kelleher said it’s already the policy of the EU Commission to move in this direction for mortgages.

“Clearly Irish interest rates are twice the EU average, it’s putting huge pressure on our economy and it’s a massive burden for families.

“If we were proactive on the Irish side, I think we’d be pushing an open door in Brussels,” the Cork TD said.

The manifesto says the EU has “an important part to play in promising competition and driving down costs for borrowers”.

Uncompetitive

On insurance costs, Mr Kelleher said the “challenge” would be to ensure companies from outside of Ireland would have a “critical interest” registered here.

“We have bad experiences in the past,” he said, referencing situations where foreign insurance companies have left the market suddenly.

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“There is an issue here where we have the perception of being uncompetitive. The EU is carrying out investigations. We’d be looking for a speedy resolution, that findings would be published and acted upon.”

The manifesto says the EU can play a role in fostering more competition.

“EU-wide data sharing, standardised monitoring and regulations should be rolled out to encourage more companies into the market in Ireland,” it says.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin launched his party’s campaign earlier this week by setting a target to win at least three MEP seats.

Among the other manifesto promises are efforts to regulate technology companies and protect children from online pornography and gambling. On Brexit, the party says the UK should be given “time and space” to move forward.

Irish Independent