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Irish Left Review
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Dramatically rising house prices further evidence of the fundamental failure and incompetence of Fine Gael Housing policy

category national | housing | press release author Thursday April 20, 2017 22:21author by pbp Report this post to the editors

Press Release - People Before Profit - April 20th 2017

Richard Boyd Barrett- Dramatically rising house prices further evidence of the fundamental failure and incompetence of Fine Gael Housing policy

Inflated personal debt and further evictions will now compound the already dire housing and homelessness crisis

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance has said the latest figures showing a continuing and dramatic rise in house prices was “further evidence of the fundamental failure and incompetence of Fine Gael’s housing policy.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said “the continuing rise in house prices was a direct result of Fine Gael’s policy of almost complete reliance on the private sector to solve a housing crisis, that can only be solved by a return to large-scale council housing construction by the state itself.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the government’s help-to-buy scheme was “totally misguided and inevitably destined to drive house prices up to the benefit of private developers.” He said “any imagined benefit to first-time buyers is now being cancelled out by the dramatic increases in house prices.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that the rise in house prices, “once again raises the spectre of inflating mortgage indebtedness to unsustainable levels and repeating the disastrous mistakes that led to the property bubble and crash which took place between 2002 and 2008.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said, “The only way to solve the housing crisis and dampen the increases in house prices was for the state to massively increase its stock of low-cost public housing, through a massive emergency programme of council house construction and compulsory acquisition.”

He continued: “A major emergency programme of direct council house construction and compulsory acquisition could help those in the most dire need, suffering homelessness or rotting for years on housing lists, but it would also help stabilise or even bring down house prices for those trying to buy on the private market.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett added that the rise in house prices was “likely to lead to a further spate of evictions as property owners, currently letting to private tenants, will see an opportunity in capitalising on rising prices and move to sell their properties.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the house price increases also “further highlighted the utter stupidity and folly of the government’s policy regarding NAMA.” He said, “NAMA’s massive portfolio of property that could have been used to solve Ireland’s housing crisis had it been transferred into full public ownership has instead been sold-off at bargain basement prices to property vultures and speculators, who are now making an absolute killing from rising property prices and rents. To add insult to injury these speculators and vultures will pay little or no tax on their massive profits because of tax loop-holes engineered specifically for their benefit.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett concluded: “On the most basic thing imaginable: housing; putting a roof over the heads of citizens, this government has totally and utterly failed. Simon Coveney’s Re-building Ireland Housing Plan is a total con-job and fiasco, compounding six years of utterly failed policy with a plan that will further enrich developers and speculators while hundreds of thousands of families and households suffer the consequence of not having a secure or affordable home. If for nothing else, this government should be flung out on its ear for the disaster they have created in housing.”

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