MEP calls for mortgage payments for those affected by coronavirus to be suspended

MEP calls for mortgage payments for those affected by coronavirus to be suspended

An MEP has called on banks to suspend mortgage repayments for people affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.

Billy Kelleher has said that rent supports should also be put in place for people who have to self-isolate.

He said a "national response" to the virus is needed - adding that the banks "owed" the Irish taxpayer.

“Banks should offer a time-limited suspension of mortgage payments for those affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Additionally, rent support should also be provided for those in private rental accommodation who are affected," he said.

“If a mortgage holder is told to self-isolate, gets sick and cannot work, or his or her employer is unable to operate, their incomes are going to be affected. While the State will provide topped-up illness benefit, they will still face major financial challenges," he explained.

Let’s call a spade a spade. We need a national response, and the banks, especially the banks owned by the Irish taxpayers, must step up to the plate.

“I envisage the suspended mortgage payments to be either rolled over the remaining term of the mortgage or the mortgage term being extended. There should be no financial penalty for any mortgage holder, so additional or punitive interest should not be applied.

“We are in a time of crisis, and in a crisis, exceptional measures are required," he added.

Meanwhile, Trinity College in Dublin is set to close a number of spaces because of the coronavirus.

The Long Room, which contains the Book of Kells, the Science Gallery and the Douglas Hyde Gallery are all set to shut.

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