Budget 2017 and the new politics


Sir, – The three great vices of the Irish are drinking, smoking and gambling. Why do we tax the first two heavily and not the third? – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Having paid a euro to put air in my car tyres in a local petrol station recently, I wonder has the Government considered the VAT rate applicable for air? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – It was nice to see that landlords are well looked after in Budget 2017. Sure isn’t the Oireachtas full of them? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 22.

Sir, – Budget 2017 has nothing for landlords or tenants. If the Minister were serious about solving the housing crisis, he would have returned to 100 per cent mortgage interest relief, allowed property tax to be claimed against income and incentivised the restoration of properties in need of renovation. What an opportunity missed once again by the Minister to reinvigorate a declining rental sector. – Yours, etc,



Irish Property

Owners’ Association,

Ashtown Business


Navan Road,

Dublin 15.

Sir, – Do we really need two Ministers to announce this overhyped and extensively leaked event? It used to be more fun when we had a recognisable Opposition. Now it’s all agreed beforehand. Oh well, at least it’s only once a year. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The use of the word “property” to describe housing or accommodation has one key agenda, that of utterly rejecting the idea of the construction of public housing.

The vital quest for a home is almost invariably described as “getting a foot on the property ladder”. The implication is clear – once an individual or family gets a foot on that slippery ladder they will spend the rest of their lives trying to get to the next rung. The cost of this, financial and otherwise, will be enormous. The rejection of all other options, especially that of a major state or local authority housing programme, makes home-seekers easy prey for the vultures of the private market. Added to this is the Government’s insistence, accepted by all the large political parties, that even social housing should be built by private developers. The result is a win-win bonanza for the developers.

There used to be an old saying “Home is where the heart is” but sadly current economic and housing policies by successive governments ensure that “Home is where the heartbreak is”. – Yours etc,


The Workers’ Party,

Cork City Council.