Saturday 24 March 2018

'Not ambitious enough' - Sinn Féin all-out attack on Government’s €5.5bn housing plan

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams
John Downing

John Downing

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has condemned the Government’s €5.5bn saying it is “not ambitious enough.”

Mr Adams said thousands of homeless people will not get a remedy for their plight. He said the plan does not include enough State input into home provision and there was too much dependence on the private market.

“Why did you ignore the Dáil committee report on housing which called for a moratorium on home re-possessions?” Mr Adams asked.

The Sinn Féin leader said other Dáil committee has also been ignored including efforts to help people in mortgage and buying homes to house homeless people.

The Taoiseach strongly rejected Mr Adams’s criticisms saying the Government was now trying to remedy problems which occurred as a result of the economic crash.

Mr Kenny said the entire package was worth €5.5bn and was tackling a range of serious problems including building 47,000 social houses. He said there were opportunities for a rapid building programme to house homeless people.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said third level education was “on a cliff” for the past five years and its problems threatened to undermine Ireland’s economic recovery.

Mr Martin wanted to know if the Taoiseach accepted the Cassells Report on third level education funding which called for €5.5bn in capital spending over the next six years, and an extra €125m per year for five years to cover day-to-day costs.

The Taoiseach said that the Cassells Report would go to the Oireachtas Education Committee which would begin serious consideration of it and he could not comment before that was completed. Mr Kenny agreed that investment in education was vital to economic and social development and the Government would give it priority.

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