Donohoe denies landlord lobbying
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has insisted he was not lobbied by stakeholders to increase interest relief on mortgages for landlords before introducing the measure in last month’s budget.
The measure in Budget 2019 means landlords will be able to offset 100 per cent of the interest they incur on mortgages or loans linked to rental properties, which is a significant increase on the current rate of 80 per cent.
Increase in evictions
Members of the Oireachtas finance committee, which was scrutinising the finance Bill yesterday, claimed the measure to incentivise landlords to refurbish properties would lead to an increase in evictions. “Substantial improvements are a basis on which you can evict people and raise rents,” said Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy. “This is inadvertently incentivising evictions.”
Asked to inform the committee about the lobbyists he engaged with before the budget, Mr Donohoe said: “In relation to engagements with my department, I wasn’t lobbied on this in relation to any stakeholder.” He rejected the contention that the measures would incentivise evictions and said private landlords were needed to solve the housing crisis.
Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said the proposal was too radical to be countenanced by “even the Tories”.
“It’s crazy stuff,” he said.