Tax increases - those who earn the most must pay the most
SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams has accused the government of having facilitated bankers and developers to distort the housing market during the 'Celtic Tiger' era and helping to destroy the Irish economy. He said that those whose greed put housing beyond the reach of ordinary people and undermined the state's competitiveness must be made be made to shoulder the burden of any tax increases Taoiseach Brian Cowen intends to implement over the coming months.
The Sinn Féin President made the remarks while in Tullamore, County Offalyat the launch of the election campaign of local Sinn Féin candidate Brendan Killeavy.
Gerry Adams said:
"I'm very pleased to officially launch the campaign to have Brendan Killeavy elected to Tullamore Town Council and Offaly County Council next June. Brendan is a first time candidate who has been active in Sinn Féin for 10 years now. He is committed to improving the living and working conditions of the people of Tullamore, of Offaly and of Ireland. I believe that if elected he will make a very effective public representative.
"A key issue in this area is the lack of social and affordable housing. There are 750 families on the housing waiting list in Tullamore with 15 new families coming onto that list every week now.
"This is not just a problem affecting Tullamore or the other major towns in Offaly. There is a severe lack of social housing across this state with over 59,000 on the social housing waiting list and 5,000 people homeless.
"These individuals and families were forgotten by the so-called 'Celtic Tiger' economy. There are many, many families with one or both parents in full-time employment, who in recent years simply could not afford to buy their own home in a scandalously over-priced housing market. The Government, including Brian Cowen during his term as Minister for Finance, refused to intervene to curb the escalation in house prices. Had this been done things would not be as bad as they now are. The failure to curb rising house prices pushed up the cost of living and the cost of doing business.
"At the same time that so many of our people are in dire need of housing we have the absolute scandal of 270,000 properties lying vacant across the 26 Counties.
"Sinn Féin believes that social and affordable housing needs to be at the centre of a new approach to meeting housing need. We are calling for a doubling of the output of social housing across the state to meet need that exists. There must also be Government assistance to those families currently at risk of losing their homes due to the reckless banking practices that have recently been exposed. County Councils must be supported There needs urgently to be a halt to the despicable practice of illegal evictions.
"Finally, those with political responsibility in this state must ensure that the developers and the bankers who destroyed our economy and used the housing market to do so, are made to pay the price. If, as the government has said, increased taxes are to be introduced, then those who have the most must pay the most." ENDS
Note to Editors:
The Sinn Féin candidates for Laois/Offaly are:
Offaly County Council Local Election and Tullamore Town Council - Brendan Killeavy
Laois County Council - Cllr. Brian Stanley
Portlaoise Town Council - Cllr Brian Stanley and Alan Hand
Laois CountyCouncil Local Election (Emo Electoral Area) - Aidan Mullins
Laois CountyCouncil Local Election, (Mountmellick Electoral Area) - Adam Haughton
Mountmellick TownCouncil Election - Stephen Lynch
Laois CountyCouncil Local Election, (Luggecurren Electoral Area) - Marie Johnston
EU candidate Ireland East - Cllr. Tómas Sharkey