Government chooses meaningless USC cuts over investment in housing - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has stated that the government has chosen to provide meaningless cuts to the USC over delivering much needed investment in housing.
He added that the housing measures contained in Budget 2017 are an affront to families in desperate need of social housing.
Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Deputy Ó Broin said;
"I am increasingly concerned by the gap that is opening up between the words of Minister Coveney –who clearly understands the scale of the problem - and the actions and inactions of his Government
"Capital spending on social housing remains less than half what it was in 2008
"€150m extra is not only insufficient – it is an affront to those families, especially homeless families, in desperate need of social housing
"The Minister will claim that Government simply does not have the money and that this is the best he can do.
"I do not accept that.
"Sinn Féin has shown in our alternative budget that it is possible to increase capital spending by as much as €491m in 2017.
"We would double the proposed increase in the allocation to local authorities.
"We would restore the Traveller Accommodation budget to its 2008 levels.
"We would double the allocation to the Housing Agency for purchasing vacant units.
"And in addition to this, by facilitating a modest investment of funds available from the Irish League of Credit unions we would unlock an additional €360m off balance sheet.
"In total would deliver more than 8,000 real social housing units – twice what the Minister is proposing.
"It is not that you do not have access to this money Minister Coveney.
"You’re Government is choosing to fritter it away on meaningless UCS cuts rather than investing it in housing."