Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: "There are limitations on what the government can do about the housing crisis"
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is our guest this week on Ireland Unfiltered with Dion Fanning, where he spoke about tackling the housing crisis.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admits that his government needs to do something to alleviate Ireland's crushing housing problems, but that people are living in 'fantasy land' if they expect thousands of homes to be built out of nowhere.
Speaking to host Dion Fanning on Ireland Unfiltered, Varadkar drove home the fact that Paschal Donohoe's recent budget allowed for a 25% increase in expenditure within the construction industry, but that there's no drastic fix for those people forced to live in emergency accommodation across the country.
"I’m not sure we’re doing enough, we need to do more, but there are limitations on what you can do," the Taoiseach insisted.
"Take, for example, the budget that we just passed a week or two ago that provides for a 25% increase in public investment and housing next year.
"That’s a pretty big increase.
"Some people say you should increase it by 50% or 100%, but that doesn’t actually necessarily mean that you would build more houses because there are real constraints. Land has to be serviced, there’s a limited amount of concrete in the country, there’s a limited number of construction workers.
"Because of the mistakes that were made 10 years ago, we saw the construction industry collapse, a banking sector collapse and we’re still recovering from that."
Varadkar added that anyone hoping to see thousands of homes appear as if from nowhere are living in "fantasy land."
"The solutions that I see other people putting forward, they may sound radical but where’s the evidence that they would work or work any quicker?
"Are you really saying to me that you can just turn around and write a letter to Wicklow County Council and tell them to build 2,000 houses? That’s fantasy land."
Ireland Unfiltered, brought to you in partnership with Carlsberg Unfiltered, will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.