Tuesday 16 January 2018

Urban young abandoned by the State

Our political system is so contemptuous of its own people that it repeatedly blocks measures to help them, writes Marc Coleman

'Up Mayo" came the cry. Enda had just won his leadership battle. It sounded like a cry I had heard before in the lovely Offaly village of Clara two years before when, like the Sam Maguire cup, Brian Cowen brought the trophy Taoiseach title home. Dubliner though I am, I don't begrudge my country cousins their joy.

But hundreds of thousands of our urban young are trapped in negative equity, unemployment or both. They are fleeced by management fees, crushed by taxes and about to be pillaged by a new property tax. And cute hoor country politics is responsible, the kind of politics that cares more about stag hunting than real people.

It was the Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and, yes, Labour councillors who rezoned land on which they now live in houses worth less than their mortgage. It was the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael politicians who gave us the highest land prices -- and hence house prices -- in Europe, by opposing any attempt to cap them at every twist and turn.

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