Healy Blasts Kelly’s Housing Spin

Statement by Seamus Healy TD

Deputy Seamus Healy has blasted Minister Alan Kelly’s grossly misleading announcement on Local Authority Housing for County Tipperary last week.

On April Fool’s Day, Minister Kelly tried to take us all for fools when he announced that the Co. Tipperary Housing List would be reduced by 42% by 2017.

Kelly’s promise on Housing is as bad as his promise not to impose domestic water charges in the last general election.

Minister Kelly announced that he would make 832 extra dwellings available for social housing/Local Authority in Co. Tipperary over the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined. He claimed that this would reduce the Council Housing Waiting List by 42%.

That claim is complete nonsense and is a typically misleading election promise like the promise made by the Labour Party in the 2011 General Election not to impose domestic water charges and not to cut child benefit. Indeed the claim falls into the category of “Lies, damn lies and statistics”.

The claims being made by Minister Kelly are based on old, out of date statistics gathered by the Housing Agency in May 2013. The current official housing waiting list for Co. Tipperary is 2,800, significantly higher that the May 2013 figure. The impact on the waiting list will be much lower at 29% as against Kelly’s 42%.

But Minister Kelly’s presentation is even more misleading than the above. He “neglects” of course to include new housing applicants joining the waiting list each year.

On the basis of figures presented to a recent Council meeting by the Councils Director of Housing Services it is clear that somewhere between 250 and 300 families are being added to the waiting list each year.

The combination of the use by the Minister of out of date statistics and his failure to include new arrivals on the housing waiting list means that there will be little or no reduction in the Co. Tipperary Housing Waiting list at the end of 2017.

Isn’t it time the Minister stopped the spin and began to build significant numbers of local authority houses to address the housing crisis affecting the people of County Tipperary?

Seamus Healy T.D.


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