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No more Fianna Fáil back-of-the envelope housing policy - Eoin Ó Broin TD

4 September, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Fianna Fáil housing spokesperson Barry Cowen to ‘publish the detail and cost of his latest housing policy proposals’ and said that ‘people won’t-stand for any more back-of-the-envelope housing policy’.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Over the weekend, the Fianna Fáil housing spokesperson outlined a series of proposals which he said would help tackle the housing crisis. They included a VAT holiday for developers; a cut to development levies; cuts to certification charges; and reductions in planning charges.

“No details or costings for these proposals are available on either Deputy Cowen’s or the Fianna Fáil website. Just like Fine Gael it appears that Fianna Fáil are making their housing policy up as they go along.

“The proposed VAT cut would cost the Government up to €240m. Where does Deputy Cowen propose to cut this from next year’s budget? How will he ensure that such a cut is passed on to the consumer? Do he really believe that people buying homes for €500,000 or more should benefit to the tune of tens of thousands of euro?

“How is his proposed development levy reduction scheme different from that already in existence? Alan Kelly introduced a development levy rebate scheme in 2015 to encourage affordable home construction. It has been an abject failure.

"Deputy Cowen appears to be proposing cutting development levies to developers who build now. How much will this cost? Where will Local Councils make up the revenue shortfall from? What local service will have to be cut to fund this proposal?

“Deputy Cowen also proposed cutting certification fees. The prices for these are set in the private sector and charged to developers. Is Fianna Fáil proposing to cap these charges? If so what level of charge are they proposing? Have they produced the necessary legislation? “It is not good enough for a party seeking Government office to produce this kind of back-of-the-envelope housing policy and finance proposals. The people in desperate need of housing deserve better. Barry Cowen should publish the details of his proposals including the costings so that people can judge for themselves.“On the basis of what we know this is a return to the bad old days of developer led housing policy which did so much damage to our economy the last time Fianna Fáil were in power.”

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