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Fianna Fáil trying to dodge scrutiny of their so-called housing policies – Fine Gael report

8th January 2020 - Colm Brophy TD

Fianna Fáil have completely failed to explain how they will fund a special savers scheme to help first time buyers, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Colm Brophy, TD for Dublin South West, has compiled a report on Fianna Fáil’s latest so-called housing policies, for the Fine Gael party.

“Fianna Fáil are completely trying to dodge scrutiny of their approach to housing and offer nothing rather than a soundbite with no substance or explanation,” he said.

“Last November, Micheál Martin said they would launch a special savers scheme to help tenants save a deposit with a 25% top-up. This would cost the State a minimum €1.74bn (see report pg 4) and Fianna Fáil have not once explained where this State funding would come from. This was just one finding when you study what Fianna Fáil have put forward. It is the usual reckless approach from them.

“All they have offered is a mishmash of ideas that sound as though they were made up on the spot. Anything put forward by Micheál Martin’s party, as my report will demonstrate, falls under four categories:

  • Illegal
  • Counterproductive
  • Already in place
  • Paper thin

“Upon examining Fianna Fáil’s so-called housing policies, which didn’t take long, their strategy is now clear to me.

“Fianna Fáil will simply criticise the Government’s housing plan endlessly. When asked to present their own policies, they will merely produce soundbites. And they will not put forward any policies until the last possible moment – if even then – so as to avoid all scrutiny of their ideas.

“This is classic reckless Fianna Fáil in action. They have no plans, no team and no solution,” Deputy Brophy said.

“Fianna Fáil sources have admitted in private to journalists that Fine Gael’s housing plan is working, apparently saying that the housing minister in the next Government will be one of the best portfolios to have, because things will have kickstarted by then, and they can look forward to cutting ribbons on all the new houses.

“This is classic Fianna Fáil arrogance. They hope that this approach will be enough to hoodwink the Irish people and allow them to coast back into power at just the right time to take credit for Fine Gael’s plan, which is beginning to show results.

“When Fine Gael’s plan, ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ was launched in mid-2016, it included a commitment to deliver 125,000 new places to live by the end of 2021. We have already delivered 64,000 new places to live, with two years left to run on the plan, and even more houses are due to be built.

“With Fine Gael in government we saw 10,000 homes added to the social housing stock last year, and we will increase that to 11,000 this year. No party in recent decades, even Fianna Fáil during the ill-fated Celtic Tiger period, reached those kind of figures on social housing.

“Everyone deserves a place to call home and Fine Gael in government has been working hard to deliver that ever since our economic recovery took hold and we could begin to correct many years of under-investment in housing.

“The fact is that throughout their recent period in opposition Fianna Fáil failed to come with any tangible workable policies on housing and are now trying to trick the Irish people into thinking they take this issue seriously,” Deputy Brophy said.

Deputy Brophy’s report can be found here: FF Housing Proposals Review 

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