Colette Browne (Irish Independent, July 22) is highly critical of successive housing ministers and of the new incumbent Darragh O’Brien, who will do well to maintain his cheerful disposition over the coming months.
But neither does she, nor anyone else in the media, offer any constructive suggestions as to how the housing crisis might be addressed.
The Government has this grandiose plan of providing housing for everyone. Everyone knows that the only way to provide housing at cost is to give the builders free serviced land and remove VAT and to do this they would have to implement the Kenny report, ie compulsory purchase of land for a reasonable price.
Nobody, but nobody has addressed the legal and constitutional issues with doing just that, and why and by whom and in whose interest has this been delayed for 50 years?
Dr Michael Foley
Rathmines, Dublin 6
Battling deadly communism was not a ‘waste of billions’
I don’t know what planet Declan Foley is living on (Letters, July 21) when he says that Covid-19 has made us all communists now and that the West “wasted lives and billions of dollars” in the Cold War.
Communism in the 20th century killed around 100 million people; about 60 million in China, 30 million in the USSR and the remaining 10 million elsewhere, from mass executions, famines and death in gulag concentration camps.
If it was not for the West, especially the United States, communism would have swept the entire world, spreading further mass murder and economic disaster in its wake.
Dr Frank Giles
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Monaco’s inclusion on green list sums up chaotic approach
After much fanfare and a mere two days late, I was very surprised to see that Monaco is one of the 15 countries named on Ireland’s ‘green list’. Monaco has the sea to its south-east and otherwise is completely land-locked by France, a country not on the green list. Monaco has no airport.
I would love to know how the Irish Government expects people to return from Monaco to Ireland without entering France and so being required to quarantine on arrival into Ireland? Its inclusion on the green list nicely sums up the chaotic and haphazard approach the Government has taken on international travel.
Welfare system should reflect worries in a post-Covid world
We need an inclusive recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The benefits’ cap and sanctions are keenly felt by large swathes of the populace: the disabled, the vulnerable, single mothers, those crippled by debilitating long-term health ailments, etc.
Money worries are also a leading precursor to mental health illnesses. The welfare system in the post-coronavirus era should reflect people’s worries and hopes and be based on the principles of fairness and social solidarity.
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
It’s more of the same inept, confused handling of nation
It’s groundhog day, folks. I listened to interviews with Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney, Micheál Martin and several other high-profile Government representatives only to hear more of the same inept, confused handling of the economy; and more recently, the Covid-19 crisis. Why is it other countries can come up with obvious solutions to contagion by making masks compulsory in shops and public transport without waiting for three months of infection to pass?
Other countries have compulsory mask wearing with temperature checking at the airports or tracing that is effective and not just relying on people making a childish “cross my heart and hope to die” promise that they will quarantine for 14 days.
This inept governing of the country can only be a consequence of a serious lack of intelligence in the political parties which have governed this country since the foundation of the State.
Kingswood Heights, Dublin 24
Nostalgia of old-fashioned holidays and ‘lengthy’ trips
Frank Coughlan’s musings about old-fashioned holidays (Irish Independent, July 21) reminded me of my childhood years in Co Wicklow and the excitement of travelling to my aunt’s house for summer holidays. This ‘lengthy’ trip even involved having to change buses twice. Mind you, Chapelizod could be lovely at that time of year!
Beaumont, Dublin 9