Sunday 20 January 2019

Taoiseach must focus more on housing policy

Mr Donohoe said the Government “must and will build more homes, tackle housing waiting lists and reduce homelessness” in 2018. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Mr Donohoe said the Government “must and will build more homes, tackle housing waiting lists and reduce homelessness” in 2018. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Editorial

Editorial

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has admitted the "success" of this Government will be determined by its ability to tackle the housing crisis this year.

Describing the housing issue as the "most pressing problem of a generation", Mr Donohoe said the Government "must and will build more homes, tackle housing waiting lists and reduce homelessness" in 2018.

Writing in the 'Sunday Independent' last month, Mr Donohoe said "serious inroads" would be made on housing.

Worthy sentiments.

The inexperienced Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy, has been less than impressive in convincing the public he has a grasp of the scale of the problem, or the solutions.

The Housing Minister is the leading target for the opposition parties in 2018, with mutterings already of calls for his resignation.

His close party-political relationship with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar places an even more valuable bounty on his head.

The Taoiseach would be well advised to focus more attention on housing policy rather than photo ops in 2018.

And Independent Alliance Minister Finian McGrath has fired a warning shot that the very continued existence of the Government is dependent on delivery in this area.

"If we haven't made major progress in housing in 12 months' time, we have a problem," he told the Irish Independent.

Mr McGrath rightly wants delivery on affordable and social housing this year, which he regards as a "benchmark". "There's no point in being in government if you can't deliver on housing, health or education - or in my case disabilities," he said.

Worthy sentiments too. Now for delivery.

Irish Independent

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