Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Advertisement

State is now the biggest actor in housing, says Taoiseach

Micheál Martin blasted the number of objections by politicians to new developments in their areas.

Updated Oct 2nd 2022, 1:20 PM

TAOISEACH MICHEAL MARTIN has said that the State is now the largest player in housing in Ireland, after criticising the level of objection to new builds among opposition politicians.

Speaking on RTÉ One’s The Week in Politics, Martin blasted politicians and parties who frequently object to new housing developments “because they don’t think it’s the right mix” of social, affordable and private homes.

“There’s been too much delay, and I’m very impatient with it … younger generation need access to housing there’s an obligation on all of us to make sure that we remove the obstacles, stop objecting, and let the projects get off the ground.”

He said he believed that “the state is now the biggest actor in housing … the government is involved in affordable housing and social housing. Now we’re being asked to get involved in building student complexes with universities at significant cost to the state.”

Speaking at Fianna Fáil’s Ard Fheis last night, Martin criticised opposition parties for objecting to private developments.

When quizzed by host Áine Lawlor on politicians in his own party objecting to housing, he said: “Irrespective of what party politicians belong to. I do not believe we have the luxury to be opposing housing schemes in this country to the degree that we are.

“Younger generation need access to housing – there’s an obligation on all of us to make sure that we remove the obstacles, stop objecting, and let the projects get off the ground.

Martin’s comments and his party’s Ard Fheis came as Government housing policy faces scrutiny, following new figures which show that homelessness is at an all-time high.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s This Week programme, the Taoiseach said homelessness has been around the 10,000 mark “for a number of years.”

He repeated a claim he made in his speech last night that Sinn Féin has objected to a total of 6,000 homes in Dublin alone, which The Journal’s FactCheck has examined and deemed misleading.

Martin also dismissed the role of the concrete levy, introduced in this week’s Budget, in the housing crisis.

He said the tax credit for renters in the Budget was better than a similar Sinn Féin proposal put forward earlier this year, and said there were “genuine legal reasons” for not introducing a rent freeze: “We can’t knowingly break the law.”

When asked about the possibility of entering government with Sinn Féin, he said: “Our door is open to any party with policies that are similar to ours.

He said Sinn Féin is “anti-enterprise” and “anti-Europe” and insisted that polls – which frequently put Sinn Féin as the most popular party in the country – are not good predictors of election results.

“I’m not sure the markets would have taken so kindly to the Sinn Féin [alternative] budget.”

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (38)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel