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Minister Ahern's criticism of banks and property speculators 'extremely naïve' - Crowe

24 August, 2006

Responding to the criticism by Minster of State for Housing Noel Ahern TD of the lending policies of banks and property speculators and inter-generational mortgages, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Affairs Seán Crowe described the Minister’s statement as ‘extremely naïve’. Deputy Crowe went on to point out that no-one should be surprised that property speculators can maximise their profits when Government policy is written by a ‘backroom team of bankers, developers and builder’s’. He concluded by outlining some of Sinn Féin’s proposals for putting a halt to rampant property speculation.


The Dublin South-West TD said: “Minister Ahern’s criticism of banks and property speculators for pushing Irish society towards inter-generational mortgages may be a valid one but is extremely naïve. He attacks financial institutions because their sole interest is their market share as if this was a new development, as if up until now financial institutions were charitable housing organisations.


“The simple reality is that when property speculators can make a profit, they will do so, and it is the policies and laws of this Government that allow them to get away with this. They do not operate in a vacuum, they operate in a context shaped by the housing and economic policies of this Government, which might as well have been written by a backroom team of bankers, developers and builders.


“Sinn Féin has proposed increased taxation on capital gains and property speculation, the introduction of legislation to break up land banks and an aggressive public housing construction plan. Minister Ahern would be better off taking on property speculators, rather than appearing to be surprised that they are interested only in maximising their profits. The Budget this December will give the Government the opportunity to do so and I look forward with interest to see if they avail themselves of the opportunity.”



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