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Sincerity of Taoiseach's housing concern questioned

28 July, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Arthur Morgan T.D. has called on An Taoiseach Mr Bertie Ahern T.D. to demonstrate the sincerity of comments he made regarding the hardship created by the inflated cost of houses in the Dublin region by intervening to address the problem. Deputy Morgan called on the Taoiseach to implement the 9th Progress Report of the Oireachtas All-Party Committee on the Constitution regarding the price of building land.

Deputy Morgan said,

„An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern speaking yesterday from the Galway Races commented on the fact that houses in Dublin cost over €100,000 more than in the rest of the country. He did so in a rather desperate attempt to tempt unwilling civil servants to decentralise. An Taoiseach went on to describe these excessive house prices as "huge inflictions on young people" trying to secure housing. This is grossly hypocritical coming from An Taoiseach given his refusal, to date, to implement the recommendations of the 9th Progress Report of the Oireachtas All-Party Committee on the Constitution in relation to the price of building land including the recommendation to give local authorities greater power to CPO land for housing at existing use value. Reducing the cost of building land is key to reducing the cost of housing, particularly in the Dublin area where the hoarding of land by a small number of developers and speculators has driven up house prices. The Constitution Committee‚s Report must be implemented if we are to make any progress in reducing the price of building land.

"Many will question the sincerity of Mr Ahern‚s concern for young people priced out of the housing market. Especially as it was expressed as he mingled with the developers and speculators who gather at the Fianna Fáil fundraising tent at the Galway Races this week and who have made spectacular profits on the backs of dangerous over-borrowing by young people." ENDS

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