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Empty home rates plan should not be delayed - McLaughlin

9 September, 2009

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaugthlin MLA (South Antrim) has said that rather than a reason for delay in introducing rates on vacant properties the present economic conditions would dictate that we can not afford to postpone the decision.
Mitchel McLaughlin said:
"While there are thousands of people suffering from homelessness and waiting lists continue to grow we must find ways to encourage speculators and developers to bring these properties into the housing market. That should be the priority not maintaining the conditions where those who helped create the unsustainable development bubble are able to continue to manipulate and distort the housing market.
"This measure would encourage developers and speculators to release properties that would stimulate the housing market and generate much needed revenue that could be directed at other forms of economic stimulation. 
"Many developers and speculators were part and parcel of the housing crisis resulting in the inevitable collapse of the construction industry. The SDLP priority in supporting delay seems to be protecting these interests rather than the needs of people seeking decent affordable housing.
"This delay is ridiculous - how does the SDLP support for delay in raising much needed revenue equate with its continuous demand for more money for provision of social housing? ENDS

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