Donohoe calls on FF to withdraw reckless SSIA proposal in advance of manifesto launch

23rd January, 2020

Is this what change looks like: fewer houses?

Minister Paschal Donohoe has today (Thursday) called on Fianna Fáil to withdraw its proposal for an SSIA scheme, aimed at first time home buyers, in advance of its manifesto launch tomorrow, saying the reckless proposal has the potential to do untold damage to the housing market and clearly demonstrates that that Party has learned nothing from the mistakes of the past.

“Fianna Fáil’s resurrection of an SSIA scheme, this time for aspiring home owners, has the potential to wreak serious havoc on the housing market. It will:

  • Slow house building;
  • Drive up house prices;
  • Cause serious distress to aspirant home owners, many of whom will find they are not eligible for the scheme.

Minister Donohoe said: “Fine Gael has been calling on Fianna Fáil to answer serious questions in relation to this policy since it was first announced earlier this week. Fianna Fáil decimated the housing market and dragged our economy over the cliff while it was doing it the last time it was in power. This policy has the potential to significantly slow house building, as people adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach before proceeding with home purchases. The fact too that the scheme would apply to new and second hand houses means that house prices will rise accordingly. FF also needs to explain how this scheme would work in reality; will it be a lottery that pits one young hopeful against another. How on earth is that fair?

“Last night during a debate with An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin talked about the potential for renters to save for their deposit through this scheme. Leo Varadkar rightly pointed out that paying rent in many cases precludes people from being able to do that. Fine Gael’s Help To Buy scheme, on the other hand, which has already helped 16,000 people own their own home, is being extended so that those hoping to buy their own home can avail of the tax back that they have already paid to a maximum of €30,000 or 10% of the purchase or build price of a new property. This will encouraging both home ownership and supply.

“Fianna Fáil wrecked our country and our young people’s dreams once before. Is this what change looks like if they are returned to Office? Looks like more of the same to me. I am calling for Fianna Fáil to withdraw this reckless policy while there’s still time.”