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PBO Report shows Help to Buy Scheme has failed on all counts for the majority of earners - Pearse Doherty TD

28 September, 2019 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has described the recent report by on the Help to Buy Scheme by the PBO as a crystal clear analysis of the scheme’s failure to deliver on any of its objectives.

Deputy Doherty said the report vindicated the warnings made by Sinn Féin that the scheme would not benefit the majority of income earners and would do nothing to reduce house prices.

The Donegal TD said:

“Today’s report by the Parliamentary Budget Office is a stinging criticism of the Help to Buy Scheme.

“The report shows that this scheme has failed to benefit all regions of the country, with 60% of claims being made for properties purchased in the Dublin area.

“More worryingly, the report shows that the scheme has been disproportionately availed of by higher income earners. In other words, it has been largely out of reach for the vast majority of earners.

“The majority of Help-to-Buy purchases were above the average price, and heavily concentrated in Dublin. Given the mortgage lending rules, this means that the scheme has largely benefited high income earners, rather than low and middle income workers.

“Only 13% of sales through the scheme were for properties costing less than €225,000.

“In fact, over a fifth of houses bought through the scheme were bought for more than €375,000. That is not an affordable housing scheme.

“Furthermore, it has shown that over 40% who used the scheme already had a 10% deposit and didn’t need it, while it failed to help the majority of people trying to get on the property ladder.

“The report also shows that the scheme has done nothing to reduce house prices. In fact, it has simply been ‘priced in’ by big residential construction companies and has essentially operated as a subsidy for their shareholders.

“To date this scheme has cost €206 million, without achieving any of its aims.

“It has failed to benefit those who need help most, and has done nothing to reduce house prices. That isn’t a good record.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fåil have delivered nothing for those renting or saving for a home after three years.”

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