Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien has branded Sinn Féin’s alternative budget proposals “Fawlty Towers economics” and accused the party of using outdated numbers in their calculation.
r O’Brien said Sinn Féin’s budget was full of “hypocrisy and inaccuracies” and failed to take into account the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on housing supplies.
“The costs outlined in the alternative budget are based on 2021 figures, before the horrific invasion of Ukraine and the consequent inflationary pressures in the supply chain and prices,” the minister told independent.ie.
“Sinn Fein is either confused or purposely misleading people by telling people they can deliver thousands more homes next year based on prices that are two years old. It’s the Fawlty Towers economy, “don’t mention the war,” and their numbers don’t add up,” he added.
Mr O’Brien specifically criticized Eoin Ó Broin, the spokesman for Sinn Féin Housing, for criticizing the government for using private developments for social housing last year, but including a similar proposal in its budget calculations for this year had recorded.
He also accused Sinn Féin of “denigrating landlords” and said their budget would hit small landlords with an extra €400 in taxes.
“And this despite the fact that just six weeks ago, Sinn Féin called for a crisis intervention plan to slow the disorderly exit of private landlords from the rental market,” he said.
“The Sinn Fein alternative shows a complete disregard for the times we live in, outdated and unrealistic cost calculations, and disastrous policies that would end all homeownership subsidies and destroy the housing supply when we need it most,” he added.
The minister’s comments come after the Irish Independent revealed that Cabinet ministers have been warned that the government’s Housing for All plan is missing key targets and will not deliver the number of properties needed to fill the supply shortage.
A series of dire warnings about the state’s housing policy were set out in a series of memos to ministers attending the monthly meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Housing
These included officials who said it was clear the viability of the government’s housing targets for the coming two years was at “significant risk”.
Mr Ó Broin said the information in the memo was “not surprising or new” but it was significant that it came from a government source.
“Darragh O’Brien missed its targets for social and affordable housing in 2020, 2021 and will miss again this year.
“While the minister was quick to blame the missed targets on Covid-19, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and inflation in the construction sector, the real reason is that his plan is fundamentally flawed,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/budget/hypocrisies-inaccuracies-and-fawlty-towers-economics-housing-minister-slams-sinn-fein-budget-plan-42015711.html “Hypocrisy, inaccuracies and Fawlty Towers economics” – housing secretary criticizes Sinn Féin budget plan