Just listened to a discussion on Newstalk about a possible plan to bail-out people in difficulties with their mortgages. I'm of two minds on this one: I have a lot of sympathy for those who bought their first homes in the period 2006-2008 and who now can't pay, but I'm loathe to help those who lived (& still live) better than my family & I do in our modest home.
I also have sympathy for those who find themselves out of work and can't afford their mortgage, but again I would like any help that we taxpayers are to provide to be at a flat rate: that is mortgage subsidies should be a set amount for all. I don't want to see taxpayers' money used to pay mortgages for those who live in substantial dwellings that even in a depressed would sell for a fair amount.
I can kind of see how something may have to be done to help people, but I can just as easily see how this could end up being nothing more than a government-mandated attempt to force the prudent to pay to sustain the lifestyles of the imprudent.
One other feature of any bail-out that I'd like to see is that all such payments should be public. That is, all of us should know who among our neighbors is getting money to help them pay their mortgage. We'll be able to assess the size of their home, the quality of their car(s) and the frequency of their vacations, etc. Why not?
I know this runs counter to the way things are generally done here, but too little transparency runs the risk of all sorts of abuse. Publicly naming those who are in receipt of government mortgage assistance might ensure that only those who are really in need avail of such aid.