Sunday February 23, 2020

How do we house the nurse and the guard?

We used to measure affordability in the housing market by the ability of a nurse and a garda to buy a home together. Today, that couple are shut out of the market. Here are three policies that could alleviate a social problem behind the public service pay demands

Michael Brennan

Political Editor

17th February, 2019
The average garda salary is €64,000, according to the Hogan report into garda pay (average Garda pay of €60,278 across all ranks, plus €4,000 rent allowance. The average nurse’s salary is €51,000 including allowances, overtime and other payments, according to the Public Sector Pay Commission. Their combined salaries total €115,000, so under the Central Bank’s lending rules they may take out a maximum mortgage of 3.5 times salary, less 10 per cent deposit: €310,500

The social contract of the past was that a nurse and a guard were paid just enough to afford to buy a home of their own. But the rising cost of housing, and the restrictions on how much people can borrow, have completely broken that model.

A nurse on an average pay packet of €51,000 and a garda on average pay of €64,000 can only borrow a maximum of €310,500 under the Central Bank’s mortgage...

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