Budget 2019 favours landlords, developers and bankers – Peadar Tóibín TD
Sinn Féin TD for Meath West, an Teachta Peadar Tóibín said that Budget 2019 was "an exercise in thinly spreading a little to everyone, but a lot to landlords, developers and bankers".
Deputy Tóibín said the government has not adequately prioritised tackling the cost of living crisis, the health crisis or the housing crisis.
“The government is attempting to buy votes with crumbs while the real gains have been made by landlords and those profiteering from the housing crisis.
“There is nothing in this budget for renters, for struggling families, for people on trolleys and hospital waiting lists. New health measures are devoid of costings, which is a clever trick so that everything can be promised without having to outline how it will be provided for.
“Despite the Fianna Fáil boast that Budget 2019 would be a Housing Budget, the figures indicate that only a paltry additional €120m has been allocated for capital investment in housing for 2019 above existing commitments. This will only deliver just 490 additional new social homes.
“Just €14m in additional funding is being allocated for affordable housing in 2019. All that Fianna Fáil’s budget negotiations have achieved is a paltry 350 affordable homes above what was already committed by Government.
“We need a target of at least 10,000 new social homes very year. Which Sinn Féin has provided for in our Alternative Budget which was fully costed by the Department of Finance.
"There is total over-reliance on the private sector. Indeed, 70% of the governments social housing targets for 2019 are subsidised private units.
“What is also worrying is the Rainy Day Fund which will cost the exchequer €500 million a year for the next 3 years. It will not be used in response to Brexit, nor can it be used for general spending in health, education or public services.
"Rather, the Department of Finance have stated that it could be used as a “capital injection” for banks.
“Clearly big banks and private interests are being favoured by this budget. This is disappointing but not entirely surprising given that it was written by Fine Gael and underwritten by Fianna Fáil who have propped them up all the way.”