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When will house-price madness end?- Doolan

22 July, 2004


Dublin Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí Doolan has lashed out at the Government for its continuous failure to curtail spiralling housing prices, in the wake of leading economist's Jim Power's prediction that costs will rise by a further 10% this year. Cllr. Doolan said the situation had "gone beyond critical and is now in the stages of lunacy. People on an average wage of roughly €27,000 are expected to come up with €311,000 for a new house, or €362,000 for a second-hand house (Government figures). When will this madness end?"

Cllr. Doolan said:

"Just recently it was revealed that 40% of borrowing last year (€80 billion) could be put down to mortgages. Irish people are already up to their eyeballs in debt. If house prices rise by a further 10%, as this economist has predicted, I can't imagine who will be able to afford a house in Ireland.

"The government needs to get a handle on the housing market. The situation has gone beyond critical and is now in the stages of lunacy. People in Dublin on an average wage of roughly €27,000 euro are expected to come up with €311,000 for a new house, or €362,000 for a second-hand house (Government figures). Buying a house in Ireland nowadays is like trying to purchase a home in Monte Carlo. When will this madness end?

"This week, Charlie McCreevy is being lauded by his colleagues for his time as Minister for Finance. But the public hasn't forget that this is the man who presided over the loss of the First-Time Buyers Grant, nor his record for putting his friends in the horse-racing industry at the top of his priority list when it came to allocating money. I wonder if he'll spare a thought for the people he has left languishing on housing lists, or worse, on the streets, when he starts his €250,000 a year job in Europe.

"I call on whoever is chosen as his successor to reinstate that grant immediately. Then the government should tackle land speculators and rip-off property developers. Local authorities must receive increased and sustained funding to provide housing with a target of supplying suitable accommodation within two years for 70 per cent of applicants on the waiting lists.Compulsory Purchase Orders should be used, with the City Council receiving a cheque to avail of them. And finally the Government must enshrine the right to housing in the Constitution. Dublin Sinn Féin is committed to leading the charge against this Government's inadequate and incompetent policies on houses." ENDS

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