The Housing Minister was told it was difficult for the Opposition to “take lectures on the economy” from Fianna Fáil, who defended the Government’s housing policy during a heated exchange in the Dáil, reports Breaking News.
Darragh O’Brien’s file was examined in detail by Labor leader Ivana Bacic and Sinn Féin’s financial spokesman Piers Doherty after he questioned government leaders.
Sinn Féin called for increased investment in public housing to “deliver genuinely affordable homes”, while Labor said housing for all is “failing in ambition and failing on delivery”.
Mr Doherty said: “Even plan developments are not being delivered on time. You’re more than happy to show up for photograph after photograph, soundbite after soundbite and all around everybody knows your plan is a shambles Minister, it’s not working, it’s not delivering and you as a minister are failing,” reports Breaking News.
In his response, O’Brien said there was no Sinn Féin housing policy and added: “It doesn’t exist.”
He said “just short of 30,000” new homes were delivered last year and this was despite “real world issues” such as supply-chain problems and the pandemic, reports Breaking News.
Mr O’Brien added: “We have more first-time buyers now drawing down mortgages every single week than we’ve had since 2007 and the reason for that is the support this Government – and I as Minister – have put in place,” reports Breaking News.
Both Bakic and former Labor leader Brendan Howlin described the comments as “farcical”.
She said: “It’s very hard for anyone in this house to take lectures on the economy from Fianna Fáil,” reports Breaking News.
“Your party wrecked the economy. It wrecked the construction industry. As you well know minister, when your party left office in 2011, the country was broken – it was in bankruptcy, it was in a Troika programme, there were nearly 20 per cent people in unemployment and a construction industry in shambles. The economy has really been rebuilt. We’ve seen seven wasted years of prosperity since 2016 and we’ve seen a failure by successive Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil governments to deliver the necessary homes people need and that’s what’s driving the current crisis,” she added, reports Breaking News.
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