Housing crisis – bring back the rates
Sir, – The current crisis in housing is, in large part, due to two things – the abolition of the rates and the sell-off of public housing. Any solution to the problem should include the reintroduction of one and the abolition of the other.
Before they were abolished in order to win political power, rates covered the supply of local amenities, including water and refuse collecting and the provision of housing. They should be reintroduced to fulfil those functions again and all other tolls subsumed into one charge. The sell-off of public housing should be stopped forthwith. This housing supply was paid for by the taxpayer in order to house those who, through no fault of their own, were unable to provide a roof for themselves. To allow the supply to become the subject of property speculation was a scandal of shocking proportions.
It is time the Irish taxpayer grew up and accepted the fact that benefits have to be paid for. If we are to have clean water, housing for the poor, regular bin collections, etc, it will cost us.
Many of us find it a price we are happy to pay. – Yours, etc,
MAIRIN de BURCA,