New housing bubble may crash economy, warns Boyd Barrett

Government is placing housing into hands vulture funds, says People Before Profit TD

The Government is recreating the conditions for a housing bubble which has the potential to crash the Irish economy again in the near future, according to People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's This Week programme, as part of a series of party leader interviews in the

lead up to the election, Mr Boyd Barrett said the Government had recreated a property market bubble by giving all development land and the housing to “big vulture funds and a small number of developers”.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger, who was also interviewed, said public investment was the key to building affordable housing and said Nama’s resources should be used as the agency owned “a third of all development land in Dublin.”


“They also have €3 billion that they’re going to invest in the docklands,” she said. “That should be used for social and affordable housing.”

Mr Boyd Barrett said the Irish economy should not be geared towards supporting multinational companies that only employ around 7 per cent of the population.

“The bulk of employment in this country comes from the SME sector which is still struggling very badly and in many cases in on its knees but of course they have to pay the full 12.5 per cent,” he said.

“There’s a global challenge now happening, not just in this country but in the United States, across Europe, saying these multinationals have to start paying their fair share of tax,” he said, adding that Apple should be made pay €17 billion in taxes to the State.

“Imagine what that would do for our health service, for our water infrastructure, for housing, things those multinationals themselves need.”

Ms Coppinger said multinationals based in Ireland should pay tax at 12.5 per cent like other businesses around the State.

“There’s an enslavement by successive governments to the idea of bringing in multi-nationals at huge cost. What the majority of people are now seeing is that they’ve turned the country into effectively a tax haven.”

“What we stand for is progressive taxation,” she said. “We need to end the gross inequality which has developed under this system for the last number of years.”

Mr Boyd Barrett said he hoped to see a “fundamental transformation” of Irish society following the economic crisis.

“We want to enter government but on the basis of actually dealing with the housing crisis, dealing fairness in our taxation system, dealing with crises in the health service and generally fighting for a more progressive, equal society.”

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast