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‘No plans’ for early general election, says Taoiseach


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is “not planning” an early election and his priority is on the work of the Government and “doing what the people want” them to do.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Mr Varadkar said there “is no date in mind” as he outlined the Government’s priority.

He said: “That is building more homes, helping families with cost of living, putting more money back in people’s pockets, it is focusing on law and order, building safer and stronger communities, and also safeguarding the economic progress that we have made which we shouldn’t take for granted.”

He said there is still a huge deficit in housing and he wants to see that changed next year.

He also said it is encouraging to see inflation coming down and the effects of the Budget measures for the public.

Mr Varadkar said his party is planning for the local and European elections which will happen in early June.

He said his party has good candidates in the field and the party is well-funded which is important going into a period where there are a lot of referendums.

Speaking on housing, Mr Varadkar said he would like to see the ratio of income to house prices come down.

“What people will say is ‘house prices are high’, and they are high, but you always have to look at how they are relative to incomes.

“Roughly speaking in Ireland now, house prices are roughly seven to eight times the average income or four to five times the household income because most people buy as a couple.”

He said while it was at this level “roughly” 20 years ago he would like to see that fall.

However he does not agree with Sinn Féin’s wish for it to fall by 20%, 30% or 40% as he believes that would cause “more problems than solutions” as he referred to negative equity and a possible reduction in homes being built.

He said he would like to see incomes rising faster and house prices staying as they are or not rising as fast.

“That is how you achieve affordability in a sustainable way without causing mortgage arrears, negative equity, higher interest rates, people not getting mortgages,” he said.


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