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Government digs its heels on housing completion data – Ó Broin

3 May, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has expressed his disappointment that the Government is ‘digging its heels’ on the issue of inaccurate house build completion data. 

Speaking in Dáil today during questions on promised legislation, Deputy Ó Broin said: 

“My exchange with Minister Richard Bruton today was deeply disappointing. The Government’s house build statistics are inaccurate. Today, Minister Bruton confirmed that Government is refusing to even consider abandoning its current misleading data source of ESB meter connection data. 

“A number of industry and academic experts, along with CSO data and Building Control Management System figures have highlighted how the use of ESB meter connection data as a basis for house building completion rates is no longer reliable. 

“The Programme for Government commits to building 25,000 new homes every year to 2020. If the accuracy of the Department of Housing’s own figures is being questioned, how can we assess if the Government is meeting its targets? 

“For example, Minister Simon Coveney has claimed that 14,932 new homes were built last year, a number of experts have strongly disputed this figure, suggesting that the real figure is less than half this number. 

“I mentioned a possible solution to this problem. Minister Coveney could consider using the opportunity of the forthcoming Building Control Bill to introduce a new and reliable data source for house building so people can see whether the Government is actually meeting its targets. 

“Maintaining dependence on a data source that is no longer fit for purpose just because it is ‘the same one that has been in place for many, many years’ is, in my view, not a good enough reason to not even consider using alternative, more accurate sources.” 

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