Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
22 January 2018
Fine Gael’s new spin on the tired local authority loan scheme lays bare the bankrupt ideology at the core of their response to the housing crisis.
Merely expanding the amount that can be borrowed by low to middle-income families does nothing to address the crisis: it is just an acknowledgement that house prices are spiralling ever further out of the grasp of the ordinary worker. It is expanding a failed scheme to try to catch up with a failing market. It does nothing to address the root cause of the housing crisis: the landlord and developer class.
We are witnessing one of the largest strikes in Irish history, with developers refusing to build enough houses to meet the demand, holding out for more profits, causing shocking social consequences. The cartel actions of landlords and developers in squeezing the Irish worker are what need to be fought.
With the state’s bail-out of banks and the mass procurement by NAMA of failing developers’ gambles, not to mention the direct investment interests of the political class, we have created a state that is dependent on increases in property values to try to minimise the cost to the exchequer of the costly bail-outs.
The Irish worker is now doubly paying for the shocking failures of the political and capitalist class—by forking out taxes to pay for their casino economy and now being directly cut out of being able to obtain such basic rights as housing.
The solution to the housing crisis is not more incentives for home ownership, overheating the market more, in the hope that developers might be tempted off their arses: the solution is a widespread scheme of public house building—public housing for all.
We must meet the demand for housing in a way that is fair and progressive. The casino economy we live in is not fit for purpose and is failing our citizens.
Fine Gael can offer more and more in local authority loans as prices spiral upwards, but that will never stop them spiralling.
Everyone has a right to a decent home; universally accessible public housing is the solution.