Inequitable and expensive “help to buy” scheme must be reviewed

An independent assessment of the Governments “help to buy scheme” is urgently required before costs spiral out of control.

Fine Geal’s scheme launched in the last Budget gives first time buyers a rebate of 5% up to a maximum of €20,000 on homes up to a value of €400,000.

The Government estimated the scheme would cost taxpayers €50 million in the full year 2017.

Latest figures from the Department of Finance to Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Finance Michael McGrath TD indicate that the scheme could by March 2017 exceed €56 million.  Should this trend continue the scheme will exceed a quarter of a billion euro by years end.

The Governments “help to buy” scheme was inequitable from the start.  There is no evidence it has increased housing supply.  It has fueled an increase in house prices.

It will cost  €100 millions that could and should have been spent on housing, health, education or other vital social infrastructure.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD called for an independent assessment of the scheme prior to its launch but the Government did not agree.

The Minister for Finance needs to acknowledge the Governments error and immediately commission an independent assessment of the scheme before the costs to the taxpayers far exceed any value to taxpayers.

This scheme again highlights the Governments total failure on housing.

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