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'Doing it arseways': Pearse Doherty on plans to review Help-to-Buy scheme after its introduction

The TD said it doesn’t make any sense that the review would be done after the scheme’s implementation.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

SINN FÉÍN TD Pearse Doherty has said reviewing the help-to-buy scheme a year after its introduction is doing things “arseways”.

The scheme, which was introduced in the budget in October, was originally intended to provide a rebate of income tax over the four previous tax years.

The rebate would be maximum of 5% of the purchase price of a new house up to a value of €400,000.

But critics of the scheme, including Doherty, said it would result in increased house prices.

It was announced, much to the Sinn Féin TD’s frustration, that the review will go ahead as planned.

Speaking in the chamber, Doherty said:

I think having a report a year afterwards in terms of impact on the house process is doing it arseways. The reality here is that the evidence is showing hat this measure will push up house prices.

He added that it would have made more sense to do the review before implementing the scheme.

Earlier today, the Central Bank announced it was reducing the minimum deposit required by first-time buyers from 20% to 10%.

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In was announced that a first-time buyer will now only need a deposit worth 10% of a property, regardless of its price. However, the 20% deposit rule will continue to apply to second-time and subsequent buyers.

The 3.5 times ceiling on the loan to income (LTI) ratio remains. Requirements for buy to let borrowers and the exemptions for negative equity mortgage borrowers from the measures also remain unchanged.

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