Budget 2019: Government ministers in spin as social housing figures don't add up

The actual number of council properties built by all 31 local authorities this year is 487, with eight building zero.

Government ministers are in a spin over housing as their own Budget figures don’t add up.

Paschal Donohoe yesterday promised 10,000 extra social homes – a mixture of new builds, buy-ups and leasing.

At least 6,000 were to be actual bricks and mortar – and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy backed him up on it.

But by yesterday evening the Finance Minister admitted only 2,000 new social homes would be built.

Mr Donohoe said on RTE, “Yes, that is correct”, when it was put to him the real figure is 2,000.

The Government was slammed by campaign groups and all other political parties for the housing mess.

Critics said they failed to seize the chance to address the national emergency in the 2019 Budget.

The Opposition branded it a “landlords’ Budget” for giving them 100% mortgage interest tax relief.

There is also an increase in Housing Assistance Payments which will go straight into their pockets.

The proposals to help struggling mortgage holders, renters and the homeless were dismissed by others as a repackaging of old figures.

The Housing Minister was tackled by the Irish Mirror on the affordable and social housing plans.

He said: “What we’ve provided in this Budget is 10,000 new homes into the stock of social housing.”

The actual number of council properties built by all 31 local authorities this year is 487, with eight building zero. Sinn Fein housing spokesman Eoin O Broin said the Budget would only produce hundreds of new homes.

He also criticised the promised spending, saying most of it is double counting old figures.

Deputy O Broin added: “As for the €89million announced for affordable housing via the site services fund, €75million of this is carry over from 2018.

“This means just €14million in additional funding is being allocated for affordable housing in 2019. Despite all the boasting from Fianna Fail in recent days, all they will have delivered in their Budget negotiations is a paltry 350 affordable homes above what was already committed by Government.

“This Budget is just a continuation of the failed housing policy of Rebuilding Ireland and the Government’s over reliance on the private rented sector in particular to deliver insecure social homes. Today, they could have sided with the tens of thousands of people unable to access secure or affordable housing.

“They could have stood with the homeless, those on council waiting lists or those struggling to rent or buy.

“Instead they turned their backs on those in need making it clear the cosy coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are unwilling or unable to tackle the housing crisis.”

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy said: “We all know we are in the middle of the biggest housing crisis in

generations. We know there are 10,000 people officially homeless.

“We know there are over 100,000 on the housing lists and we know people are being hit with rent increases that are absolutely unbelievable.

“But you wouldn’t know any of that from being in the Dail and listening to Paschal Donohoe’s speech.

“What we had, in reality, was a landlords’ budget, written by a landlords’ minister who sits in a landlords’ Government.

“What they announced in terms of things that will actually affect the housing crisis was effectively nothing.

“They’re still dealing with essentially the same figures from Rebuilding Ireland from two years ago and just rolling them out every time it suits them.Solidarity TD Paul Murphy said: “We all know we are in the middle of the biggest housing crisis in

generations. We know there are 10,000 people officially homeless.

“We know there are over 100,000 on the housing lists and we know people are being hit with rent increases that are absolutely unbelievable.

“But you wouldn’t know any of that from being in the Dail and listening to Paschal Donohoe’s speech.

“What we had, in reality, was a landlords’ budget, written by a landlords’ minister who sits in a landlords’ Government.

“What they announced in terms of things that will actually affect the housing crisis was effectively nothing.

“They’re still dealing with essentially the same figures from Rebuilding Ireland from two years ago and just rolling them out every time it suits them.

“What they’re actually announcing in the area of housing is simply just further tax incentives for landlords through the extension of a full 100% mortgage interest relief.”

Mr Murphy added it would result in “a further massive transfer of wealth from the public pocket into the pockets of landlords already making profits double that in other European countries”.

He said: “That doesn’t do anything to deal with the crisis, it simply lines their pockets further.”

dublinlive.ie
Budget 2019 Ireland
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
14 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text that deals with the Irish border, RTÉ News understands. The text was agreed at around 9pm last night and then transmitted to Downing Street. While two well-placed sources have confirmed that the text was "as stable as it can be", they say it would not be correct to say that the negotiations have "concluded". According to both sources, there will be one backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The ba...
Politics
The Cabinet will meet this morning to consider developments around the draft text of a Brexit withdrawal agreement. Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar put his colleagues on standby for this morning's meeting, which is due to be held at 9.30am. Mr Varadkar and the Tánaiste will update their Government colleagues on what has happened over the last 24 hours. It follows a meeting last night between Mr Varadkar, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Finance Pasch...
Society
A number of events have taken place around the country and in Northern Ireland to mark the centenary of the ending of World War I. Locations where ceremonies have taken place include Belfast, Enniskillen, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Galway and Tipperary. In Cork city, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on the Grand Parade. He was joined by relatives of those who died in WWI and members of the Cork branch of the...
Society
The two men who were arrested in Athy, Co Kildare yesterday in the investigation into the murder of David Boland have been released without charge today. A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions as the investigation continues, said a garda spokesperson. David Boland, 34, was stabbed multiple times during an incident on Duke Street in Athy, in the early hours of Thursday 1 November. A total of four people have been arrested to date as...
Society
Dublin City Council is set to spend €1.6 million on the removal of discarded chewing gum in public areas. The local authority is seeking tenders for a contract to remove gum from footpaths and pedestrianised zones throughout litter blackspots in its administrative area over the next three years. It expects to spend €1.6 million plus VAT on these services, according to tender documents. The huge cost of removing chewing gum from public areas comes despite r...
Society
It's not the first incident that has caused delays in Dublin this morning. An Irish Rail service heading into Dublin faced a huge delay this morning after hitting a sheep. The 7.05am service from Sligo to Dublin's Connolly Station was left delayed for 45 minutes due to the incident. Passengers have been warned to expect some knock-on delays as a result. Irish Rail said: "07:05hrs Sligo/Connolly will be delayed up to 45mins arriving in Connolly due to the s...
Society
Precarious work is causing hardship to workers and their families, and reinforcing inequality, insecurity and deprivation in the workforce, according to the latest research from the Think tank for Action on Social Change. The report, entitled "Precarious Work, Precarious Lives", notes that precarious work forces many to rely on social protection from the taxpayer to compensate for their irregular hours and income. It found 44% of Irish workers do not have...
Society
A new study which looked at the lives of nine-year-olds shows poorer outcomes for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The Growing Up in Ireland research, carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute, shows an improvement in the families ability to make ends meet since 2013, but found that not all families benefitted from the economic up-turn. The research was carried out on group of nine-year-olds who spent many of their early year...
Society
Ryanair and its CEO Michael O'Leary are being sued in New York by a shareholder accusing the airline of defrauding its investors, and inflating its share price by overstating its ability to manage its labour relations and keep costs down. Ryanair described the claims in the lawsuit as "false" and "doomed to fail" - and has pledged to defend itself fully against what it called "bogus ambulance-chaser" claims.  According to Reuters, it is not uncommon for sh...