Reprieve for first-time buyers welcomed – Buttimer

Wednesday, 28th January 2015

  • Central Bank not proceeding with 20% mortgage deposit recognises financial pressures faced by first-time buyers.
  • 10% deposit for first-time buyers on amounts up to €220,000
  • First-time buyers of more expensive homes require 10% deposit on first €220,000 and 20% of balance
  • Non-first time buyers require deposit of 20%

The decision by the Central Bank to revise its proposal for a 20% deposit and to make it easier for first time buyers to save for a deposit is a good one.  For young people starting out in life trying to save for a deposit on a home can be a difficult task, this change in policy will help them to buy their first home.

The majority of first time homes in Cork fall under the €220,000 level which requires a 10% deposit.  This will mean for most first time buyers they will now only need a 10% deposit.  For other more expensive homes a further 20% deposit will be required for any amount above this level.

This will put in place a set of controls around mortgages and lending that will benefit everyone looking to buy a home.  It will provide a set of rules that will help to control property prices.  If we had a similar system in place over the last 10 years we would not have experienced the property bubble and its disastrous consequences that have affected so many families.

Although I broadly welcome the proposals, in particular the exemption from the requirements for people in negative equity, we must be careful to ensure that this decision does not result in unintended consequences.  The Oireachtas must now ensure the effects of this policy are regularly reviewed so that we can make sure that it is helping to make homes affordable for families.”


Posted under Finance, National Work

Boundary review an opportunity for economic development – Buttimer

Thursday, 15th January 2015

The review of the Cork City boundary and other local government arrangements is an opportunity to provide a platform for further economic development.

This review is an opportunity to ensure that local government structures are changed so that they best serve the people of Cork and the businesses that generate employment in the region.  The city boundary has remained unchanged for over 50 years and in that time the city has expanded beyond the restrictive boundary.   Everyday life and business activities have moved beyond an outdated boundary and this is a welcome opportunity for much needed and long awaited review.

In 2012 the Government set out its local government reform package, ‘Putting People First’.  This review is the next step in those reform proposals.  We now have an opportunity to put in place structures that recognise modern commuting patterns and changes to urban and suburban centres that have taken place across the city and county.

Cork city and county are key centres for economic development and employment creation; now we have an opportunity to put in place structures that will ensure this continues for decades to come. The outcome of this review must deliver reformed structures that will ensure an effective counter-weight to Dublin which will benefit the entire region.  If we can deliver a city of European scale with critical mass we will best serve the future needs of the people of Cork and provide a platform for further economic development.

For further details on the review group see here:,40018,en.htm

Posted under Carrigaline, Cork, Cork City, Douglas, Environment, National Work

Live Register in Cork City and Carrigaline at lowest in 6 years

9th January 2014

  • Latest CSO figures show more people are at work since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012

Live Register Figures for Cork City and Carrigaline are now at their lowest in 6 years.  This shows that the national trend of falling unemployment for 30 months in a row is being felt in Cork. This is very much to be welcomed.

Another drop in the Live Register in December emphasises that the economy is in recovery and that more people are entering the jobs market. In Cork City the number of people on the Live Register has fallen to 14,065, the lowest number since January 2009.  Similarly in the Carrigaline area it is down to 1,843, the lowest since February 2009.

I am particularly encouraged that the Live Register here in Cork City has dropped by 34% from an unacceptable high in 2009.  In the Carrigaline area it is down 32%.  While this is great news for all those who have secured jobs there is however more work to be done.

I hope and expect to see a further drop in these figures in the coming months.  This year there will be an increased focus on job creation as the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton is preparing to launch a pilot programme of the Regional Enterprise Strategy. This strategy will help to ensure that all areas of our country benefit from the improved employment market.

Nationally, the latest CSO Live Register figures show that the unemployment rate has dropped to 10.6% from a high of 15.1% in 2012. More people are at work and they can expect to see a little more money in their bank account from this month onwards thanks to changes made to the tax and USC system in Budget 2015.

As the economy grows the Government is in a position to give back to the Irish people who have sacrificed so much. All workers will see a small increase in their earnings starting from this month but we know that personal taxation is still too high. We are committed to pursuing policies that make work pay and ensure that people in all parts of the country feel the benefit of the growing economy.

Things are moving in the right direction and the latest Live Register figures give us confidence that the policies pursued by this Government are working. Through hard work and dedication a strong, sustainable recovery can be delivered right throughout the country and in particular here in Cork.

Posted under Carrigaline, Cork, Cork City, Employment, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation, National Work