Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Social Protection

Mortgage Interest Relief Eligibility

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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157. To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason mortgage interest supplement ceased in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if it will be restored in view of the difficult financial circumstances in this case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [47235/14]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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The original purpose of the mortgage interest supplement (MIS) scheme was to provide short-term 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.

MIS is normally calculated to ensure that a person, after the payment of his or her mortgage interest, has an income equal to the rate of supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) appropriate to their family circumstances less a minimum contribution which recipients are required to pay from their own resources.

The minimum contribution for couples towards MIS increased from €35 to €40 per week (since 1 January 2014). This change applies to new and existing recipients.

Many recipients pay more than this amount because recipients are also required, subject to income disregards, to contribute any additional assessable means that they have over and above the appropriate basic SWA rate towards their accommodation costs.

The rate of interest payable by the person referred to by the Deputy is less than the weekly minimum contribution for a couple of €40 per week, therefore the person referred to is no longer eligible for a mortgage interest supplement.


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