Public land used for private developers
Successive governments have instilled such cynicism in us that one could be forgiven for believing that the Government’s recent leaning towards tax breaks for “middle Ireland” has been contrived to facilitate the construction industry and the sale of private housing.
To understand the mindset of successive governments, look no further than the Public Land Development Agency, which has declared a ratio of 10% social housing to 90% private, and this on ... wait for it, public land, which, in effect, amounts to a subsidy for the developer class. This just about sums up the arrogant mindset of Fine gael and Fianna Fáil in their “renewed coalition” to “govern”.
As the lands are public lands, this ratio should be reversed: 10% private to 90% social housing, and strictly adhered to by an independent land development agency, until such time as the social housing crisis has been fixed. This would focus the minds of developers and guarantee the building of social and affordable houses in double-quick time. Leaving the current Land Development Agency under the influence of this coalition government is asking for more trouble. The renewal of the confidence and supply agreement by Fianna Fáil has to be seen as its tacit acceptance of the housing crisis and the health crisis (we have one of the most expensive health systems in Europe, with nearly three quarters of a million citizens waiting long-term for healthcare). This arrogance, by politicians who claim to be representatives of the people, is obscene. The excuse that their ‘coalition’ is needed to maintain stability through Brexit, when they, like most of us, know that it is the European Union that pulls all the strings, simply demonstrates their desperation to maintain power at all cost.
Setting aside the hype that is the almost-weekly statements of upbeat economic performances, which only benefit the upper tier of this two-tier society, and reflecting upon this rich, but debt-laden country and the crises that afflict the citizens in so many fundamental areas of life on this island, it is not difficult to conclude that the two parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, who have wielded so much power and influence for the past twenty years, have left our beloved nation in an absolutely appalling state.
Joe Brennan Ballinspittle Co. Cork