Dáil debates

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Housing Schemes

10:05 pm

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I am concerned with the Minister's answer in the sense that I would like it confirmed that there will be a formal review of this scheme. A formal review has not been carried out in three years and if the Minister is to extend the scheme, I would it confirmed that there would be one.

It has been pointed out by the ESRI and Social Justice Ireland that the scheme has contributed to house prices. It has also been pointed out that 40% of the first-time buyers making a claim already had a deposit.

What is even more interesting now is that the Minister stated that more people are using it and that is why it is four times more costly. This is not accurate, when one looks at the paper, for example, taking 2020 and 2019. There were 6,713 applicants in 2019 and the scheme cost €102 million. The following year, there were fewer applicants than in 2020 and it cost more. I ask the Minister to explain that to me now. That is only one example, where there are fewer applicants, 6,227, and it is costing more. In addition, it cost more than four times the original estimate for what was a temporary measure. As has been pointed out in the policy document, there is now a change in policy and there are many other schemes to help first-time buyers. It needs a serious reconsideration.


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