Government challenged over its inaction on rising house prices
Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Arthur Morgan T.D., speaking during question time in the Dáil today, challenged the Government over its inaction on rising house prices. Deputy Morgan, pointing to the most recent figures from Permanent tsb/ESRI House Price Index which showed that in the first three months of 2006 alone house prices rose by 3.5%, questioned the Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Noel Ahern on what specific actions the Government was taking to curb house price increases.
Deputy Morgan said, "In 1997 when Fianna Fail came to power the average price of a house was €100,000. Today the average price is over €280,000. In Dublin the average price has reached €380,000. People are being forced to take out 40 year mortgages. Young couples and first time buyers in Dublin in particular simply cannot afford to buy houses in their community, if at all. Communities are being destroyed as the younger generations are forced further out into the ever expanding commuter belt.
"What is the Government doing about house prices? Does the Minister even accept that there is a crisis in terms of affordability -- has he not encountered it in his own constituency? The Minister has no answer. The reality is, the government has no effective strategy to address the rise and rise of house prices." ENDS