David McWilliams: The rules of the property game have changed

A meaningful dereliction tax would change the game further, and for the better

Workers treat a building in Dublin city. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Workers treat a building in Dublin city. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

In the mid-1990s a foreign friend, visiting Dublin for the first time, lamented how malicious the British must have been to bomb the city’s quays, great squares and wide streets before they left.

Looking at the dereliction, beautiful buildings without roofs, gutted internally, their facades crumbling, this visitor concluded that some vindictive scorched-earth policy had resulted in such destitution, and that the poor post-independence Irish simply never had the money to refurbish.

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