Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment, Barry Cowen TD, has criticised the Government’s short sighted approach to the private housing market in Budget 2015.
Deputy Cowen commented: “Providing good quality homes at an affordable price in the right location should be a priority for the Government. However, the lessons of the past few years and the risks of stoking a property bubble have been completely ignored by the Government as they attempt to save the seats of as many TDs as possible.
“Completely abolishing the Windfall Property Tax risks a return to damaging land speculation in years to come. Combined with the halving of Part V to 10% of social housing provision; the mechanisms for providing social benefit from future development has been rolled back by the Government. All the same time, there are no measures in dealing with the problems faced by renters who will be excluded from the housing market by new central bank demands on savings.”
Deputy Cowen added: “This budget was a chance to help revive the private housing market. Instead the Government has rolled back planning laws designed to make sure everyone benefited from an upturn in the property market, not just a few. This comes before they have even established an independent planning regulator to oversee a properly functioning planning system in Ireland. By putting the cart before the horse the Government is showing they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
“Tackling the housing crisis across both private and social sectors should be the focus of this Government. This budget does little for the long term health of the sector and little for those struggling to keep up with rents. The short sighted approach of the Government across its budget measures is sadly reflected in their housing policy,” Deputy Cowen concluded.