Lame Ducks and Political Disillusionment

July 20, 2016

 

The housing report finally came out. Its added to my disillusionment with politics in Ireland that appears to be in a state of paralysis in dealing with economic and social problems.

There are 2 problems that more than any other describe the housing shortage supply in Ireland. One is lack of supply which feeds into the other problem: the other is the prohibitive cost of new homes that prevents young people having any hope of getting onto the housing ladder.

The report only refers to the vague suggestion of ‘speaking with agencies’ eg NTMA above. This means the report is holed below the water line. It does not provide a concrete solution to the prohibitive cost of housing for young people beginning families.

In a previous generation housing was affordable and a first house could be got with 1 and a half times the combined salaries of the couple asking for a mortgage. The cost of an average home far exceeds the abilities of the average industrial wage to get equity against it.

So the major part of any housing report should address this problem instead the report glosses over the problem. Furthermore we are told that the EU fiscal straight jacket imposed on Ireland means we cannot invest in housing on balance sheet and stay within EU imposed fiscal rules.

It gets worse. instead of embarking on a large-scale public housing programme procuring land, services and planning permission for large-scale development as we did in the past, the EU straight jacket requires Coveney to come up with inventive ways to bypass these rules.

So Coveney has come up with the idea that private sector development will be the way to go to reach his target numbers of new house builds. Now, wait, think of this for a moment.

Suppose you are a local builder with a plan to build a small estate of say 50 homes somewhere in one of Dublin’s suburbs.

You have the planning permission, services already in place, land purchased, ready to go, the only thing stopping you, according to Coveney, is finance; so perhaps Coveney from his €5bn will lend you the money as the banks won’t give it to you.

The Construction Federation of Ireland:

“Speaking at a CIF event in Dublin yesterday, Micheal Mahon of the Society of Chartered Surveyors said that his research showed a three-bedroom family home cost about €318,000 to build including a 15pc profit margin. That places those homes well above the estimated limit for most first-time buyers of €280,000 to €300,000.”

Amazingly there are no plans to reduce vat on new homes! Coveney will build these homes for €250,000 but cannot tell us how this will be done?

<div class=”ctx_content”>
CIF director Hubert Fitzpatrick said the shortage of new homes had long passed crisis point.

“Due to the cost of construction, many Irish homebuilders are finding residential development unviable.

“In many parts of the country, the cost of construction is so high relative to asking prices of existing houses they would be building at a loss. As a result, housebuilding activity outside the greater Dublin Area is stalled,” he said.”

http://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/cost-of-building-houses-worsening-crisis-cif-34624889.html

So back to our local builder. Unless he is a fool he will not be lured by Coveney’s cheap money to build homes that no one can afford due to their high cost.

Coveney’s report is silent on reducing the high cost of home building so let’s call his report a dud!

Its a DUD report! Nothing but a shambolic aspirational mess.

Lets add to our disillusionment!

http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/nie/nationalincomeandexpenditureannualresults2015/

CSO have just released a report stating that our GDP growth levels are at 26% incredible levels! On the face of it we should be sending in the gardai to investigate the Central Statistics Office as based on their statistics using formulae supplied to them by Eurostat it turns out because of the increase in GDP we have to contribute an extra €280,000,000 euro as contribution to EU funding.

I kid you not, beset with homelessness for up to 6000 of our citizens, hospitals bulging at the seams with trollies for A&amp;E patients and waiting lists for years, the EU wants another €280ml from us.

If you are part of the group think “Think Tank” describing Ireland’s GDP growth levels as incredible 26% everything is hunky dory  you should not be reading this as I’m one of that vast group that belong to those disillusioned with politics.

“So we seem to have had two big distortions in our GDP growth figures. The first was the deprecation of assets moved to Ireland. And the second was the jump in exports from contract manufacturing and tax inversions.”

There is a dearth of precise detail in the CSO figures but for sure they evidence scamming of tax payers across the world through smoke and mirrors accountancy tricks and tax avoidance loopholes that move massive corporate pockets through mail box companies set up in the IFSC for this purpose alone.

For example, through tax loopholes in the US profits can re relayed through an offshore mailbox company setup in Ireland by an American company and suddenly all its profits are tax free.

I would suggest the sudden rise in this activity is accelerated through the alarm caused by the declared intent of US politicians in congress and in the senate and including those going for election to stamp out these loopholes. These scams are being exploited before the guillotine falls and the US legislates against corporate inversions and similar scams.

lameDuck

Political Irony Inversions

The irony is the longer Taoiseach Enda Kenny stays the closer to the end he gets and the more unstable his government becomes. Inevitably the more damage Kenny does to Fine Gael’s credibility with the opposition and the public.

FF can sit back and enjoy the growing chaos. Meanwhile we can enjoy the spectacle of this charade as lame ducks fail to oust the chief lame duck.

But there appears to be method to the madness.

Frances Fitzgerald becoming de facto heiress apparent to the incumbent house of cards.

This seen in the appointment of James Reilly as deputy head of Fine Gael. He rides the crest of a wave losing his seat with Don Quixote like precision tilting at windmills  winding us up with fantasies of universal health care.

At the same time hospital trollies answer hospital waiting lists as Irish doctors and nurses flee the HSE while many refuse to join the wasteful and absurd call to the under 6’s to clog up GP waiting rooms .

I guess O Reilly’s job will be to drum up some support for Fitzgerald.

Its a clear case of Kenny’s Shakespearean hubris manifested in a poor amateur drama parade  of Bruton, Varadkar and O Reilly divertingly defending Kenny’s over reaching stay in office.

According to them the emperor is clothed in expertise, leadership qualities, the success of the Irish economy, lowering unemployment, white knight of Dublin’s north inner city: Not!

Those disillusioned with politics see beneath sham falsified unemployment figures based on zero hour part time contracts, growing taxes and charges driven by austerity with plans for more debt extraction to burden the young with the cost of so-called free education!

Europe is dragging this country down itself in severe decline with banks across the EU on the threshold of failure  long term Japanese deflation  best that can be hoped for.

Enda should go immediately. The longer he stays the more lasting damage he will do to Fine Gael. Some argue the longer he stays the better!

Curiously Kenny’s relationships with fellow European leaders built on accepting on Ireland’s shoulders 42% of what otherwise would be banking losses for French Santander and German Deutchbank and other European and US banks is touted as a plus.

Folks, he would have a bad relationship with them if he had succeeded in gaining anything but a refusal from even daring to ask for a burden sharing debt write down. But he’s loved for his obediently, jovial compliance and foolish smiles and incurious obedience.

That is what is being offered to us voters with Enda Kenny whose political demise appears to be as difficult to wrestle from his drowning grip as is democracy from Mugabi in Uganda.

Actually,  you can  plot it for a poor amateur drama production, its pretty simple to ‘make it up’.

Consider the following scenario with ‘lost his seat’ James Reilly, the party still reeling from election results no doubt due in part to his misjudged anachronistic and ironic call for universal health care for all with the irony of hospital waiting lists at an all time high.

Perhaps an audit of O Reilly’s property portfolio and that of all members of FG/LB in the last coalition may have thrown some light on the absence of regulation to prevent rents rising to an all time high,  lets not digress.

Reappointment of Reilly to the role of Tanaiste with a  role to talk to FG politicians around the country to reinvigorate the party is his mandate.

His close connection to Enda Kenny and his political proximity to Frances Fitzgerald would appear to make sense if he is meant by Enda Kenny to back Frances Fitzgerald as Enda’s heir apparent.

Frances Fitzgerald hasn’t been that highly visible in defense of Kenny, has she? So the plot thickens. The more time passes the more unstable Fine Gael becomes. This must be both tragic and comic.

This injects Bruton’s and Varadkar’s support for lame duck government by Enda Kenny with all the more ennui and mirth, but we’ll have to wait and see if such a plan pans out.

Just as we’ll have to wait and see if Simon Coveney rises to the task of reducing the cost of new house builds and actually builds a house that isn’t built on pyrite, mica and sand.

Meanwhile those disillusioned with such political manoeuverings look around at alternatives? Sinn Fein with its all Ireland machiavellian associations now wedded to remaining in Europe? What ludicrousness? Waffle Fianna Fail masters of the political uturn? No? Brechtian silence from Shane Ross bought off to unify and give stability to Fine Gael? What an unbroken horizon of despair?

Now supposedly independent but de facto state agencies like the Central Statistics Office in Orwellian Up is Down fashion cheer on government propaganda with leprechaun economics telling us:

““I’m not going to stand up and say the economy grew by 26 percent,” Power, an independent economist, said after the release. “It’s meaningless — we would be laughing” if these numbers came out of China, he said.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-12/ireland-s-economy-grows-26-as-u-s-companies-chase-lower-taxes

But wait there is hope on the horizon:

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/angry-fine-gael-tds-question-enda-kennys-leadership-408942.html

There are those out there willing to say the emperor has no clothes on. So called recovery is a sham.

Homelessness, water charges, property charges, rent serfdom, calls to make students through loans pay for their education; young teachers and guards forced to take lower pay scales than their older colleagues, charity regulations in a mess, NAMA in an even bigger mess, our main trading partner rightly leaving the EU with enlightened Brexit, hospital waiting lists.

Yes there are those disillusioned with politics with their ears to the ground who don’t buy into the mantra pretence of success but who see through the shambolic and self serving politics of delusion led by those who would spread their delusions among us.

Brexit brings with it opportunity to join with those on these islands looking to bring reality back into politics, to discover a new and fairer world.

Irexit needs to be put before the Irish public as an option to escape the straight jacket of Europe and to reform relationships with NI and UK in new political and trade agreements.

A new alliance with greater independence for Scotland, an all Ireland 32 county political and trade based unified government, Wales and UK with greater ties than before and greater respect for independent voices could release these islands from the disaster that the EU has become.

The alternative is a glove puppet government wedded to its decline and the decline of Europe.

http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/nie/nationalincomeandexpenditureannualresults2015/

http://www.thejournal.ie/housing-plan-coveney-2885156-Jul2016/

 

till again

 

 

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One Response to “Lame Ducks and Political Disillusionment”

  1. What will happen to Ireland is a direct consequence of the states prevailing economic business model. For the last 25 years this has been based on pimping the state’s legal and tax sovereignty to tax exile US corporations, then living off the payroll taxes of the army of accountants, lawyers, estate agents, surveyers and others who provide ‘substance’ to insubstantial companies. Over this period indigenous business has been crowded out. Similar business models are evident in Cyprus, Guernsey, Malta, Luxembourg. All are vulnerable to backlash from the states who lose corp tax flows as a result. As Ireland’s only other indigenous export business of any significance are food products and tourism the state will collapse if the present business model were to be stopped suddenly be the EU 27 or by changes in US tax law.

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