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Empty home rates plan welcome - McLaughlin

29 June, 2010

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaugthlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the announcement by Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson in regards to rating of Empty Houses but voiced concerns about the number of exemptions attached to the proposals.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:
"While there are thousands of people suffering from homelessness and waiting lists continue to grow we must find ways to encourage speculators and developers to bring these properties into the housing market. That should be the priority rather than maintaining the conditions where those who helped create the unsustainable development bubble are able to continue to manipulate and distort the housing market.

"Many developers and speculators were part and parcel of the housing crisis resulting in the inevitable collapse of the construction industry. For these reasons I welcome the Minister's statement on empty homes. I remain concerned however, about the number of exemption clauses and will insist that these are deployed in an appropriate manner and are rigourously monitored to ensure that no abuses occur.

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