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Editorial: Now tackle the crisis on mortgages

THE plight of homeowners struggling to pay mortgages must be a priority for the incoming government with more than one in 10 trying to avoid repossession. More than 44,000 householders were at least three months behind with repayments by the end of 2010, Central Bank figures show.

Mortgage holders in arrears owe a total of €8.6bn, which is up from €7.8bn three months earlier.

Hundreds of thousands more are under severe pressure with changes in income tax rates, the USC and increased health insurance costs.

Many bought houses at artificially inflated prices and now find themselves striving to keep a roof over their families' heads.

Incoming Taoiseach Enda Kenny will seek to secure more favourable terms on the EU/IMF bailout in the coming days.

Surely ordinary families also deserve a fairer deal? The election excitement is over and it is time to tackle serious pressing issues like the mortgage crisis.