Monday 18 December 2017

Paschal Donohoe just did a Facebook Q&A and it did not go as you might expect

Paschal Donohoe
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

It has been a long day at the office for Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe who delivered his first Budget today. But he has one final gig: fielding questions from the public in a live Q and A.

While most of the questions concerned today's Budget, some Facebook users were keen to use the Q&A opportunity to gain some insight into Mr Donohoe's private life.

One reader asked him what his reaction was to the result of last night's World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Wales.

"I'd one eye on the match and one eye on getting ready for the Budget," he said.

"But I very briefly put two eyes on the match when James McLean got the goal. Absolutely over the moon that we won and bring on the play-offs."

Another person was curious about Mr Donohoe's taste in music and asked him to reveal his favourite band and song.

"Look, love music, love lots of different bands but I'd be here all night answering that," he said.

The Finance Minister admitted that he's "hoping to go to a few more gigs later in the year".

"I'm looking forward to The Killers later in the year and my favourite song of theirs is Mr Brightside," he revealed before the live chat came to an abrupt end.

Before the questions veered into personal territory, some Facebook users expressed concern that the Budget did not tackle the housing crisis adequately.

One commentator called Niall asked when the Government are going to "start building homes". He explained that he's married with two children, both parents are working and renting and don't have a "hope of saving for a deposit".

Mr Donohoe acknowledged that he couldn't provide an "immediate answer" but encouraged him to look at Budget's long-term plan with the housing spend.

"We're making more funding available for social housing and for housing solution for people for next year but probably Niall that isn't what you want, what you want is more homes being built," Mr Donohoe said.

"That's why we've made decisions today in relation to lending directly to small and medium sized developers to help them build homes. It's why we increased the vacant site levy to bring more land into supply, to allow more homes to be built. It's why we've made the decision today in relation to stamp duty to try and shift the focus of human activity away from building offices to building homes.

"I know none of these things are going to give you an immediate answer and I know how frustrating it is to be looking to save to get your own home and how far away that can look ... but I really believe that the changes we made today are capable of turning around the supply of houses and giving people like you the help you need."

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