Finance Minister Michael McGrath was advised by officials and the Central Bank not to announce any mortgage interest relief measures in this year’s budget.
He was told there was no “evidence base” to support any general measure, that it could worsen housing supply issues, would give rise to deadweight, and have the potential to be extremely costly.
Department of Finance officials said even a targeted relief should be avoided on “the grounds of fairness” and that if it were to be introduced, it could be very complex to implement and operate.
In response to an early pre-budget submission, Mr McGrath said he noted their advice and said it was “undoubtedly a complex issue”.
However, he said that some people were “really struggling and we have a duty to see if we can provide some help” asking if a targeted option for those most affected by interest rate hikes could be examined.
In the budget, a €125 million mortgage relief package was eventually introduced that will save around 150,000 home owners up to €1,250 per year in cases where their repayments had risen sharply.