O’Brien the Bluffer is back, the next FF FG Leader is well Connected to Developers, well FF always were, never Forget the Galway Tent?

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Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien slammed as ‘incompetent’ and ‘arrogant’ over new scheme ‘that would drive up house prices’

The €75m Shared Equity housing scheme has been branded a ‘developers’ charter’ because of the predicted bump in profits it would give to big builders

Fianna Fail Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien (Image: Gareth Chaney/Collins)

The €75million scheme is part of the minister’s new affordable housing plans, but critics say it will lead to a spike in house prices.

Studies from researchers in the UK at institutions such as the London School of Economics (LSE) say that a similar scheme there led to a 6% rise in house prices, while share prices soared by more than 200% for some British home building firms.

Aside from the political opposition in the Dáil, concerns about the Shared Equity plan have also been raised by the ESRI, the Central Bank and the high profile former Secretary General at the Department of Public Expenditure, Robert Watt.

Meanwhile, the opposition was rounding on Mr O’Brien during a debate on the issue in the Dáil on Wednesday morning.

And Mr O’Brien hit back accusing his political opponents of “hysteria” in their political attacks on him.

  • Sinn Féin housing spokesman, Eoin Ó Broin introduced the Private Members’ Bill (PMB) calling on the minister to remove the Shared Equity Scheme from upcoming housing legislation.

He said: “Fianna Fáil’s developer-led shared equity loan scheme must be scrapped.

“It will increase house prices, saddle working people with debt and line the pockets of big developers with taxpayers’ money. Facing a barrage of criticism from all quarters, this scheme is on its last legs.

“Before I remind the House of some of that criticism, it is worth remembering where this scheme came from.

An entire generation is locked out of home ownership.

“Three decades of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael housing policy has led to ever-higher house prices, ever-higher rents and a growing number of young adults stuck at home are stuck in a rent trap.”

Mr Ó Broin added: “It is clear that the Government has been stung by widespread criticism and is now scrambling to change its story.

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