Building is only way to fix crisis
THE disclosure that Dail Deputies and civil servants will receive their pay rise well ahead of pensioners and the disabled is unfair but not unexpected.
As always, it is the least well off in Irish society who are last in the pecking order. Those on pensions and benefits are also right to point out that the much-heralded €5 raise is something of a sleight of hand on the part of the Government. It’s not being paid until the end of March so it is only for nine months of the year and works out at a derisory average of €3.85 per week. On the other hand the TDS and civil servants get an entire year at the increased pay level. All is also not what it seems when it comes to the Government’s pledges to provide more social housing and rapidly grow the house-building programme. The spin may be claiming that there are thousands of new homes on the way but in reality there were actually fewer than three dozen new homes announced in the Budget. There is clearly an over-reliance on the private sector to meet social housing and this will do little to the tens of thousands of families on the ever-increasing waiting lists. Fine Gael must get over its ideological phobias and accept the fact that a massive social house-building programme is the only way to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis.