Tá daoine ag cur síos ar an ngéarchéim tithíochta mar an tubaiste is mó inár n-am agus tá an ceart acu. Tá córas tithíochta tógtha ag Rialtas Fhine Gael agus Fhianna Fáil do na creach-chistí agus tá na gnáthdhaoine fágtha ar an leataobh. Tá iompar níos fearr tuillte ag daoine sa Phoblacht seo. Más Poblacht mar is ceart agus fíor í, ba chóir go dtiocfaí na daoine ar dtús.
Minister, from the people in the street to the highest office in the land your housing crisis has been called out for the disaster and social catastrophe that it is. The truth is being spoken in a powerful way. The cynical Government efforts to shut down and shut up those who stand up for the people are disgraceful. The housing crisis is a decade of shame for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. It has defined life in Ireland for far too long. It has been profoundly damaging to the aspirations of an entire generation. This generation is locked out of home ownership. People are robbed of the ability to put an affordable roof over their heads. The housing crisis is without doubt the great failure of successive Governments. It is a sad reality that a home - a basic necessity of life – has become such a pipe-dream for so many. This is not how things should be in a republic. The coalition came to office two years ago and promised it would fix housing. On the Minister’s watch however things have gone from bad to worse. People caught up in this crisis have had ringside seats as Government has recycled policies after policies that created the mess in the first place.
All the Government has to do is look at the facts. Rip-off rents continue to hit new record levels and the number of available properties has fallen to an all-time low. House prices have soared beyond the reach of ordinary workers and families. Homelessness has returned to pre-pandemic levels with more than 10,000 people in emergency accommodation. In the Ireland of 2022 children are growing up in hotels and B&Bs. This flies in the face of the shared values of the Irish people. It is the undeniable truth that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been the best voice in the class for the speculators. They have turned housing, which is a basic human right, into a cash cow for private interests chasing as much profit as they can get.
The policies of the Minister for Finance have always been about meeting the profit needs of the powerful developments, the landlords and the wealthy international investors and not the needs of ordinary families and workers. Look at how Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have just used big tax advantage to roll out the red carpet for the cuckoo funds to bulk buy family homes. Look at the litany of Government schemes that have lined the pockets of the speculators including the latest bonkers scheme where the Government gifts €450 million of taxpayers’ money to developers to build homes that ordinary families will never ever be able to afford. The charge being levelled at the Government is that it is a government of the top sticks. To underscore the Government’s failure this morning, the CSO published its figures which show house prices are out of control with property prices that have increased by 14.2% nationally in the past year.
Does the Minister now accept that the housing crisis is a disaster? Does he accept that the housing crisis is the great failure of his Government and successive Governments? Will he now finally change direction and build homes that ordinary people and workers can afford to live in?