Despite numerous Government pledges to tackle the issue of high variable mortgage rates, variable rates here are still nearly double the Euro area average, according to local Fianna Fail Deputy, Frank O’Rourke.
“According to the recent Central Bank figures, the average interest rate on new mortgages in September of this year stood at 3.31%; this is nearly double the equivalent rate across the Euro area, which stood at 1.86%.”
“Mortgage rates in Ireland remain dramatically out of line with rates charged elsewhere in Europe, and we must ensure that this is addressed. We have pressed for the extension of mortgage relief for those who bought their home during the peak of the boom, however, we must now focus on the variable rate that is being charged by Irish banks. ”
“This means that a borrower with a mortgage of €200,000 is paying around €250 per month more than they would be paying in the average Euro area country.”
“In May 2016, a Fianna Fáil Bill designed to give the Central Bank powers to tackle excessive variable mortgage rates passed second stage in the Dáil. The progress of the Bill through the legislative process has been tortuous and painfully slow. Despite not opposing the Bill at second stage, it is abundantly clear the Government does not want the Bill to become law. We will continue to press for this Bill to be passed.”
“Putting €250 per month back into families will help the local economy, bring down the cost of living and ease wage inflation pressure. I see again this weekend that Fine Gael are trying to make a priority of reducing the top rate of tax, as opposed to focusing on the cost of living for people. Focus on reducing the cost of living will bring a multitudes of benefits to our local economy and hard pressed families that have mortgages,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.
Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says legislative change is needed to deal with outstanding problems with vehicle parking in Kildare.
Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after putting forward an amendment to the Road Traffic Bill 2016 which is currently being debated by the Dáil. If accepted, the amendment will enable Local Authorities to make small alterations to parking bye-laws to deal with problems as they arise.
“Currently Kildare County Council has to go through a full public consultation process when making changes to parking bye-laws. This is needed for ensuring there is proper oversight associated with large scale changes to bye-laws, but it is unnecessarily restrictive when dealing with small issues,” explained Deputy O’Rourke.
“For example the council has to undertake such a public consultation, which includes seeking advice from the Garda Commissioner, when simply wanting to add an additional disability parking place. This is an unnecessarily complicated process and actually discourages Local Authorities from making practical changes to parking arrangements in towns and villages.
“The Road Traffic Bill is currently being debated in the Dáil and I have put forward proposals to deal with this problem. If accepted, my amendment will enable Local Authorities to make minor alternations to parking spaces, loading bays and the positioning of parking payment machines. This will allow for parking related problems to be dealt with as they arise and will also help cut down on excessive costs.
“This is a common sense proposal and I am hopeful that it will receive cross party support. There are a myriad of parking related problems in Kildare and it is important that the Local Authority is equipped to deal with these issues,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.
1. That the Lighting dept. of Kildare County Council carry out a survey on the Ardclough Road to identify the exact area that requires further street lighting between Simmonstown and Temple Manor Estates and for this work to be then included in their work programme.
Answer: The Council will carry out this survey as requested and report back once it is completed. I am committed to having these additional street lights installed.
2. That Kildare County Council develop their own policy on traffic calming like other Local Authorities have done in an effort to have traffic calming accessed and then implemented in areas where required in the Celbridge\Leixlip M.D so that safety can be improved for all road users.
Answer: The Council will allocate resources to developing their own traffic calming policy in order to have the different areas in Celbridge and Leixlip as identified accessed and then to have the appropriate measured implemented.
1. Can the Council, at the request of the Residents include Horse-Shoe, Green Lane in Leixlip into their road re-surfacing programme and review the one way system that is currently in operation.
Answer: The Council will inspect this surfacing and then include any required works into their 2016 surfacing programme.
2. Can the Council have the Signs at the following locations faced the correct way and straightened etc (1) Hazelhatch Road, between the Tennis Club and Wolstan Abbey. (2) Maynooth Road (traffic lights sign at Salesians, cycle lane sign opposite Aldi and Crodaun, speed ramp signs at Beatty Grove).
Answer: This work will be included in their work programme and carried out as quickly as possible.