Alan Kelly says Taoiseach and colleagues "damn well destroyed this country" with housing policies
"You’ve some cheek to come in here and talk like that... and what you sat beside and who you sat beside as decisions were made to destroy this country for generations."
Labour leader Alan Kelly has said Taoiseach Micheál Martin and his colleagues "damn well destroyed this country" with their housing policies as the two clashed in the Dáil on Wednesday.
Kelly made the comments during Taoiseach's Questions, in which he referenced an ESRI report that said under 30s in Ireland are likely to be worse off than their parents due to stagnant wages and a collapse in home ownership rates.
Kelly said that Ireland was "simply not a country for young people" and that given the mix of low wages and rising rents, it is not surprising that home ownership for people under 30 is a "pipe dream".
In response, the Taoiseach said: "Now Deputy Kelly did raise issues. I do think there has to be a focus on young people", before highlighting that Kelly was a member of the government that welcomed in investment funds.
The Taoiseach also said that he believed in home ownership and supporting home ownership initiatives.
Speaking later, Kelly said: "I’d just like to remind the Taoiseach that the reason that Michael Noonan did bring in the REITs back in 2011 or 12 was because you and your colleagues damn well destroyed this country with your housing policies. In bed with developers.
"So don’t come in here and start throwing out commentary like that without reflecting on the fact that you hadn’t the guts and it took you until the very end to stand up to your own party. Only when you knew everyone else had fell.
"You’ve some cheek to come in here and talk like that without reflecting on your own history. And what you sat beside and who you sat beside as decisions were made to destroy this country for generations."