‘The trapped generation’
Sir, – “Those born since 1980 belong to a trapped generation, pressed between insecure employment, flat-lining wages and exorbitant rents that make city living increasingly unattainable.” So reads the leading article in your newspaper (“The Irish Times view on young people’s living standards: The trapped generation”, Opinion & Analysis, May 11th). At the risk of boring your readers with some economics, the single largest contributing factor to this situation is the monetary stimulus policy of the ECB and other central banks. Put simply, the central banks’ policy of quantitative easing (ie printing money) has had the effect of significantly increasing all asset prices (stocks, bonds and property) as all this extra money looks for a home in which to invest. Meantime, wages remain relatively static. So the older generations (who own property and other assets) get richer and house prices and rents become less and less affordable for young people. Quantitative easing is literally free money. But it disproportionately benefits those who already have money and other assets (ie older generations). Maybe this hasn’t been fully considered by politicians and central bankers. Or maybe it has. I wonder what generation they belong to. – Yours, etc,
Blackrock, Co Dublin.
Sir, – A lot of recent commentary on the housing crisis has focused on buyers hoping to make an investment gain. My fear for younger people unable to purchase their home is that Irish pension arrangements will not be sufficient to cover rented accommodation. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The Taoiseach said in the Dáil on May 5th that he is against institutional purchase of housing estates. Yet for the last decade and before, corporate property companies have been doing just that. Build-to-rent is commonplace, large private entities are building massive portfolios of Irish property, leading to spiralling rents, fewer properties on the market for sale to individuals and families, more homeless people, and this in a society that prides itself as having a strong social backbone.
Why not rent control? A thorny subject, perhaps never mooted in the Fianna Fáil tent at the Galway Races. But why not give the average Irish person a chance to live at least with a small amount of disposable income after the month’s rent has been paid?
Rent control will drive the local economy because the average punter will have more ready cash to spend locally, supporting local businesses. Going out, spending a little in the shops, and don’t we all deserve a holiday?
Rent control will dampen the house market. Rent control may get the next bunch of politicians into office.
If it a matter for the Constitution, then change the bloody Constitution! – Yours, etc,
IVAR BLANKER ,