Long Term Housing merely ‘a pipedream’ for many young people – Ó Laoghaire
Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire today raised the issue of young people being locked out of the housing market with the Tánaiste at Leaders’ Questions.
Speaking afterwards, the Cork South-Central TD said:
“The young of this state have long been treated as an easy target when it comes to Budgets.
“In the first few austerity Budgets, young people were effectively singled out for particularly vindictive treatment. Third Level fees skyrocketed, young people saw cutbacks to unemployment benefits for under 25s, and youth services have been cut to the bone.
“There was little in this budget to convince those who travelled to the four corners of the world to find work that there is anything in this Republic of Opportunity for them to come home to.
“Young people don’t want a handout, or any special pleading; the opportunity of a decent standard of living is all they want. Instead, we have young people breaking their backs to just keep the roof of a cold, pokey flat over their heads, while facing housing waiting lists of 10 years and more in places.
“Housing above anything, is the key issue for young people. Average Rents are now between €1160 and €1740 in Dublin. The average price of a property is €250,000, and much higher in parts of Dublin and Cork.
“In our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin display how the Government could build 10,000 houses as well as 4,500 affordable houses. It’s about choices.
“The Taoiseach is fond of telling us of his Republic of Opportunity. When is the Taoiseach going to start working on a Republic of Opportunity for my generation?
“If, as the Government and Fianna Fáil said, the Budget should be measured against what it does on Housing, then it has surely failed. No new Social Housing units beyond what was already announced and, incredibly, literally nothing on affordable Housing. This is a hammer blow to the ambitions of thousands.
“There is a huge category of people for whom a mortgage is impossible, and who do not qualify for Social Housing.
“How does the Taoiseach expect us to take you seriously about your cant about working families, when this is the category of people that is being absolutely ignored by this Government?
“They are being denied the opportunity to have a place to call home. When will this Government do something, anything to help people secure a home of their own?”