Fears grant would push up home prices
A Labour Party proposal to introduce a cash grant scheme for first-time buyers is likely to be shot down amid fears it would cause house prices to increase further.
Labour backbenchers have launched a fresh bid to introduce the incentive for young couples, and are putting pressure on the party leadership.
It was discussed at the Labour parliamentary party meeting this week, which was dominated by housing issues.
Labour TDs and senators are demanding that Environment Minister Alan Kelly provides a detailed account next week of how the €3.8bn housing budget is being spent.
For the second time in recent weeks, Labour TDs discussed the prospect of introducing a cash grant for first-time buyers.
The measures would mean the minister directs local authorities to provide cash grants to applicants struggling to get onto the property market in cities such as Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
Dublin Central TD Joe Costello and party chairman Jack Wall said measures are needed to assist those trying to get onto the property ladder.
But senior Government sources have voiced caution over such a move, warning against any such measure that could cause house prices to escalate further.
Mr Kelly is also due to roll out a suite of measures aimed at stalling spiralling rent bills.