Monday 22 October 2018

'If they want to take a canister of petrol and just throw it on the property market that's their prerogative' – Paddy Cosgrave on Budget measures

Paddy Cosgrave, CEO, Web Summit Photo: Stephen McCarthy/MoneyConf via Sportsfile
Paddy Cosgrave, CEO, Web Summit Photo: Stephen McCarthy/MoneyConf via Sportsfile
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave has said that if the Government "want to take a canister of petrol and just throw it on the property market that’s their prerogative".

He was referring to the Budget announced by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on Tuesday.

"To introduce mortgage interest deductibility for speculators is one thing, I believe it’s uncapped, not even Donald Trump when he did his give away budget for the 1pc dared to make mortgage interest deductibility uncapped, that’s probably a billion euros in the back pocket of the richest people in this country. I don’t understand it."

He added that he believes that the decision was taken to mould Fine Gael’s own electoral base.

"It is the same as providing tax subsidies to the biggest coffee chains in the world operating in Ireland," he continued.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr Cosgrave went on to say that if the Government is going to give mortgage interest rates deductibility they should give it to everybody "and have the debate".

He added that he didn’t think there would be a housing crisis if there was more debate and discussion, "and part of that involves creating a truly free press".

Earlier in the day Mr Cosgrave told a journalist at the Web Summit HQ that last week’s €110m deal, which will see the Web Summit stay in Portugal for a further 10 years, allows the company to invest in the future and continue to attract great employees.

"It creates a huge degree of certainly in terms of our future and the future of the conference," he said.

With respect to the Web Summit MoneyConf event in Ireland, Mr Cosgrave said that it has "a bright future" in Ireland.

"If it works out well we have every intention to run more events in Ireland."

He added that the company’s DNA and headquarters will always be in Ireland.

"Money Conf has a huge potential to grow at a much larger scale and hopefully some of the mistakes that were made by people in this country won't be made again," he added.

In terms of growing the Web Summit as a business he said that options are on the table.

"Sure maybe one day it goes public, maybe one day it doesn’t, who knows."

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