This of course is part three of my response to Daniel McConnell’s (@McConnellDaniel) cabinet review in The Irish Examiner in which he glorified a group of Ministers who for the most part would be forced to resign if there was any justice or political bite in the Dail.
The level of misinformation in the media needs to be responded to and we all have to be aware of exactly how this government is failing us. To continue, here is how the Minister for Housing performed in 2017.
Eoghan Murphy Minister for Housing
Eoghan Murphy took over the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government from Simon Coveney in June 2017 amidst the country’s biggest housing crisis in living memory. The housing crisis has become so severe we’ve seen homeless levels rise every month which have resulted in calls for the government to declare a national emergency and seek European funding to help resolve a bleak environment that left over 3,333 children homeless for Christmas 2017.
However the Boy Taoiseach doesn’t see a problem with the situation quoted as saying “Ireland has one of the lowest levels of homelessness...by international standards” and Eoghan Murphy seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet.
Sound bites about how the Government is on track to meet social housing needs for 2018 are both incorrect and immoral (our Social Housing waiting list exceeds 90,000).
In a year which resulted in more homeless people dying in our country than ever before Eoghan Murphy stood by and watched, hiding behind some kind of pie chart or diagram of normal level of homelessness, acceptable levels of attrition, and an increase in the number of children in family hubs. Sound bites do not provide people with the dignity they deserve.
What could be described as poor planning but is more likely an orchestrated effort to delay housing development has seen demand far out strip supply. This has resulted in house prices exceeding Tiger values which prevents people from affording their own home or securing a mortgage. It has also created an unaffordable rent market squeezing the average worker to the point where they have little disposable income, and god help those with children. As a result on top of a homelessness crisis we have a property crisis and rental crisis, a three headed dragon which is being fed by the Government.
Not something you’d expect a young minister to fix in six months, albeit a poisoned chalice to begin with, but if he can keep the ship steady and do relatively nothing while the government continue to inflate the housing market there is a Ministerial pension in it for him.
However Eoghan Murphy does not deserve any credit for maintaining a bad situation. What the country needs is emergency shelter for our homeless and affordable housing for people working day and night to put food on the table for their families; Eoghan Murphy has done nothing to achieve either.
Eoghan’s lack of acknowledging the problems is enough to convince me he is not serious about change, enough to convince me he is not willing to tackle a government that is made up of the landlord class who benefit most from the rise in property prices and the increase in rental income.
Increasing house values and a growing rental market is also more attractive to the multibillion dollar vulture funds circling us, which the government have invited into the country with the same courtesy shown to Strongbow.
Eoghan Murphy does not convince me he wishes to do anything to change the market in favour of creating the necessary supply of accommodation required.
Eoghan Murphy does not convince me when he speaks in sound bites but denies the facts.
His performance does not warrant him a pass mark and out of respect for those who died as a result of homelessness this year Eoghan Murphy gets nothing more than a 0/10 and if anyone feels any different please feel free to leave a comment.
I will add the journalist mockingly pointed out that Eoghan Murphy’s department is also responsible for the failing contraption that is Irish Water which nearly brought the government down in 2016. Irish Water for the most part avoided the headlines but is an elephant in the room which the Minister won’t be able to avoid in 2018.
This concludes part three of my cabinet review. I will post part four tomorrow, focussing on the Department of Health, if anyone would like to contribute please DM me on Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.
Picture by @eoinkr