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Bacik calls Government’s housing policy an ‘omnishambles’

The Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik has described the Government’s housing policy as an “omnishambles” and has said the coalition’s ambition is too low.

She told the Dáil that the Department of Housing had underspent its capital budget by €141 million last year which she said could have built an extra 450 homes.

There were also underspends in secured tenancies affordable homes, urban renewal and regeneration, she said.

Ms Bacik urged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to stop delaying an increase in the Government’s housing targets which have been acknowledged as too low.

Mr Varadkar insisted Housing for All is working and he rejected the suggestion that there had been underspends in the Department of Housing.

Instead, he said, the minister had been able to move money to other housing areas.

Mr Varadkar added that the Government could share the ambition of increasing housing targets to 50,000 houses per year.

But he said that would not be achievable this year or next.

The Government will not oppose Labour’s motion on housing this week.

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