Sir, – Cllr Malcolm Byrne of Fianna Fáil (Letters, September 21st) dishes out blame for "creating the housing crisis" to current politicians and says that developments in the past decade caused the problems.
In trying to explain our present problems and accord blame, he omits the fact that the cause for the present housing and other problems go back further than that.
The beginning of our present problems go back to around 2000. It was around that time that the reckless decisions started which ended with major increases in both our government expenditure and our bank lending.
That ended in 2010 with, relative to the size of our economy, a record government deficit of approximately €50 billion.
Relative to the size of both economies, that was in fact three times worse than Greece, which went bust at the same time.
As a result, we had the troika and the bailout.
The period post-2010 was consequently a period of austerity which had a serious impact on, among many other things, housing provision.
The blame for that is most certainly due to the decisions of our most powerful citizens in government and financial institutions in the pre-2009 period and not those who subsequently had to deal with the consequences. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The gall of any member of Fianna Fail attacking Fine Gael for the housing crisis is truly breathtaking. Apart from the fact that Fianna Fáil is supporting current Government policy by maintaining it in power – and is every bit as responsible for what we are having to endure as a consequence – it was a Bertie Ahern-led Fianna Fáil government that radically changed government housing policy by outsourcing provision to the private sector.
This change has led directly to the current debacle.
What is most worrying about Fianna Fáil interventions on this subject is its apparent failure to recognise what is the root cause of the problem, which in turn should alert us that it has no intention, wittingly or otherwise, of changing current policy should its get its hands on the tiller again.
Voters beware! – Yours, etc,