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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Louise Burne

Labour leader Ivana Bacik calls for one million homes to be built in the next decade

Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik has said that the party would build one million homes in the next decade if it was in Government.

She made the comments during her first leaders’ speech during her party’s annual conference in Cork on Saturday evening.

Some 700 people were expected to attend the event at the Clayton Silver Springs over the course of three days.

READ MORE: Labour rejects Fine Gael claim it has objected to nearly 11,000 Dublin homes

During her passionate address, she lit on the Government ahead of the party’s no confidence motion in the coalition on Wednesday morning.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are perpetuating an unequal Ireland,” Ms Bacik told delegates.

“This Government is lurching from crisis to crisis. Cobbling together half-hearted fixes; All spin and no substance.

“They are failing the people of Ireland.

“Let me start with this Government’s biggest failure. The Housing Disaster.

“Under this Government – we have seen a catastrophic failure to deliver on housing.

“And let me be clear, only ideology – not the economy – has held back the massive public investment in housing that is so badly needed.

“Again and again, this Government has turned to the private market to solve its own mess.

“And again and again, developers, speculators, and land hoarders – have shown that they can’t and won’t deliver the homes our communities need.

“This failure is causing record homelessness – over 11,700 people.”

Ms Bacik said that if her party was in Government, it would massively step up housing output.

She said that they would bring 100,000 homes a year onto the market. However, she did not provide any details on how this would be done.

She continued: “Our ambition is for one million homes in ten years – starting now.

“The State can - and we must - deliver 50,000 new builds and 50,000 refurbished homes a year for the next decade.

“In a strong economy with financial surpluses, we can do this. With new thinking and new ideas, we can do this.

“With a national housing emergency causing suffering for thousands – we have to do this.”

Ms Bacik called for a new “use it or lose it” rule that would stop land speculators sitting on inactive residential planning permissions in rent pressure zones.

The party tabled its first motion of no confidence in a Government for over 20 years last week. The Government subsequently tabled a confidence motion in itself that will be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday morning.

Ms Bacik said that the Government is “out of ideas and out of time” and that there must be a “temporary extension of the eviction ban” that would “provide breathing space to increase housing supply”.

She also called for a unity referendum, as well as a tax on “fossil fuel guzzling SUVs” like one previously introduced in France.


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