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Leah Farrell
Social Housing

Varadkar says socialists want to separate 'people paying for everything but qualifying for nothing' from others

The Taoiseach said socialists want to segregate communities.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has accused socialists of wanting to segregate communities by advocating for 100% social housing builds on public lands.

“They want to divide our society into people who live in different areas, with some people paying for everything but qualifying for nothing. It is the wrong way of doing it,” he told the Dáil.

TD Mick Barry raised the cases of four proposed estates, stating they are earmarked for mixed use development, while he argued the public land should be used for 100% social and affordable housing.

“This is awful play-acting on an important and serious issue,” said the Taoiseach, who said what is proposed is a mix of housing. 

“That is some private housing for young people who want to buy and own their first house, some affordable housing for people who qualify for it, and social housing for those on the housing list. That is the right way to go about this,” said Varadkar. 

Barry said he wanted the Taoiseach to explain why he appeared to be against the idea of public housing on public land, which he said “is a good and viable alternative to the government’s plan for mass privatisation of land through a land development agency”.

Varadkar said Fingal County Council with Damastown, and South Dublin County Council with Kilcarbery – two of the sites – will be “integrated communities”.

The lands will be used to build social housing “for those who need it, affordable housing for those who qualify for it, and private housing for those who want to buy their own homes, in order that everyone can live together and we can build communities as well as houses”.

He added:

What the socialists want is something different. They want segregation, to divide people and to have people living in council estates in one area and private estates in the other. They want a wall built between the two groups. They want to divide our society into people who live in different areas, with some people paying for everything but qualifying for nothing. It is the wrong way of doing it.

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