3 August 2006 Edition

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Housing policy run by developers, property speculators and banks

The Bank of Ireland has this week revised upwards its predictions for house prices to €395,000 across the 26 Counties and €532,000 in Dublin. Prices continue to break all records despite regular claims that the market is 'calming' or 'peaking'. Bank profits and the indebtedness of the working population are also breaking all records.

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe said the latest figures showed that the Fianna Fáil/PD government effectively has no housing policy but leaves housing almost entirely to the market. The Dublin South-West TD said:

"It is clearer than ever that housing policy in this state is no longer in the hands of the government, but is controlled by developers, property speculators and the banks. Minister of State for Housing Noel Ahern has completely abdicated his responsibilities .

"The banks need to accept some responsibility for this increase, with the 100% mortgages being offered playing a central role in accelerating prices upwards. Speculators buying up property as investments are depriving young families of the opportunities to buy their homes. This is further vindication of Sinn Féin's position of a restoration of the Capital Gains Tax rate of 40% on second properties, increasing incrementally for subsequent properties.

"The supply of housing also needs to be addressed, with the massive land banks being hoarded across the state systematically broken up. Last week it was revealed that only 35% of promised social housing units have been delivered while developers buy their way out of their Part V commitments to supply 20% social and affordable housing in new developments.

"This shows who is driving housing policy in Ireland. It is not driven by need, nor the requirements of the almost 44,000 families on the housing waiting list. It is driven by the interests of the inhabitants of the tent at the Galwayraces this week."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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