Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has said that ‘the housing crisis is set to continue as Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien sets out status-quo budget asks’.
The Dublin Mid west TD was responding to an interview with the Housing Minister in today’s Irish Independent.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Darragh O’Brien has been Minister for Housing for three years. He and his party have been propping Fine Gael up for seven years. During all of that time, the housing crisis has deepened. House prices and rents at all-time highs, homelessness increasing every single month, and social and affordable housing deliver below target.
“Today, Minister O’Brien has set out his main Budget 2024 asks. He wants to expand both the so-called Help to Buy Scheme and controversial Shared Equity Scheme. The result of this will be to further push up house prices. Extending the shared equity loan to second hand homes would be particularly dangerous.
“His proposed changes to the renter’s tax credit are misguided. The credit should be based on a full month’s rent paid back to every private renter, rather than the same flat rate paid to all. More significantly, the Minister has not addressed the fact that half of renters did not claim the credit in 2022 and, to date, only 10% have claimed it in 2023.
“Once again, the Minister is also floating the idea of a lower rate of income tax for landlords. He proposed this last year only to have it rejected by his cabinet colleagues. Sinn Féin does not believe that this approach will reduce the flow of single property landlords from the market.
“Budget 2024 must be radical. It must address the growing need for social and affordable homes. It must include new measures to reduce homelessness and help people to exit emergency accommodation more quickly. And it must focus on bringing house prices down, not saddling working people with increased debt.
“In September, Sinn Féin will set out our alternative housing budget. A status-quo budget will only see the housing crisis deepen. Minister O’Brien’s interview today demonstrates yet again that this government is out of ideas and out of time.
“Only a change of government and a change of housing policy will allow us to start cleaning up the mess of 12 years of Fine Gael and seven years of Fianna Fáil’s bad housing policies.”