Written answers

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits

10:00 pm

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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Question 293: To ask the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21370/11]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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The mortgage interest supplement scheme is administered on behalf of the Department by the Community Welfare Services (CWS) division of the Health Services Executive (HSE).

The purpose of mortgage interest supplement is to provide short-term income support to eligible people who are unable to meet their mortgage interest repayments in respect of a house which is their sole place of residence. The supplement assists with the interest portion of the mortgage repayments only. The capital element of the repayment is not taken into account in calculating the amount of supplement payable as it is not considered appropriate that the Exchequer should repay part of the initial loan and thereby provide assistance towards the accumulation of a capital asset on the part of the individual concerned.

The HSE has advised that from January 2008, the person concerned has been in receipt of a mortgage interest supplement to assist with the interest elements of her mortgage repayments. Since then, as an exceptional measure, the person has also been provided with assistance toward the capital element of her mortgage.

The HSE has further advised that it recently informed the person concerned that from January 2012 it will withdraw the assistance toward the capital element of her mortgage. This decision has been appealed to and upheld by the HSE's designated Appeals Officer.

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