Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has described Government tax breaks and sweetheart deals has led to foreign vulture funds swooping in and gobbling up the scarce supply of homes, pricing Irish families out of the market, and then pretending they didn’t know it would happen.

Teachta Crowe said:

“The Government’s policy is to incentivise and support investment funds to buy up housing right across the state. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael rolled out the red carpet for them with a range of sweetheart tax advantages.

“They pay no corporation tax, no capital gains tax, minimal stamp duty and no tax on the extortionate rents they charge. This is rightly infuriating young couples and first time home buyers.

“Year after year, Sinn Féin have submitted amendments to the Finance Bill to close down these tax loopholes so that investment funds could not crowd workers and families out of the housing market.

“Last year, when my colleague Pearse Doherty TD submitted amendments to the Finance Bill concerning these loopholes, every single one was voted down by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

“No Irish family trying to buy a home can possibly compete with the almost limitless funds of these vulture funds What happened at Mullen Park in Maynooth, where an entire estate was bought up, is a wake up call. This type of purchase and impact it has had on ordinary buyers is a direct result of a policy designed and defended time and again by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens

“In the teeth of a housing crisis, first time buyers and renters are being locked out of the market by international investment funds that are buying up swathes of new builds and in turn pushing up house prices. The direct consequence is that these big wealthy funds can swoop in and gobble up those limited houses that workers and their families would have expected to be able to afford.

“Now, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are pointing the finger at each other, trying to shift blame for policies they both enacted. Watch this space; it’s only a matter of time before they move on from their petty squabbling blame the opposition, particularly Sinn Féin.”