Order of Business
25th April 2012
Senator Mark Daly: I ask the Leader to ask the Minister for Social Protection to come to the House to discuss the issue of social welfare payments to assist people with mortgage interest payments. Senator Mary Moran: She will be here on Friday. Senator John Gilroy: Senator Daly can ask her then. Senator Mark Daly: I have asked through the normal channels if there is any proof that payments given to people to pay mortgage interest are being passed on to the banks. If people are given a choice between feeding their families, keeping the lights on or keeping the house warm and paying the bank, no one will blame them if they fail to pay the bank. We must find different mechanisms to assist people who find themselves in that difficulty. However, we need an assurance that people who are receiving assistance to make mortgage interest payments do pass the money on to the bank. People who use those funds for food, fuel or lighting should get the necessary assistance. I support my colleague, Senator Coghlan, on the issue of rates. In Northern Ireland out of town centres pay higher rates than businesses in the centre of towns. That is something the Deputy Leader might look at.