ESRI’s NDP Report Urges Bold Government Action

12 January 2024
  • Report backs Labour’s budget call for tax system to be used to incentivise move away from commercial building to residential

Labour’s Finance spokesperson Ged Nash TD was today reacting to the recent publication of the ESRI’s National Development Plan (NDP) report.

Deputy Nash said:

“Addressing the housing crisis requires bold and decisive action, not the business as usual approach which is the hallmark of this government.

“While the report on what is in effect the government’s signature capital investment plan for our country acknowledges that the government’s housing targets are too low, it is disappointing that the research does not explicitly define what that target should be.

“Labour’s assessment is that the we need a new-build target of 50,000 new homes a year, far exceeding the government’s lacklustre goal of 30,000. It’s time to pivot away from ineffectual policies and embrace imaginative measures that truly address the needs of our citizens and the challenges facing our nation.

“The oversaturation of speculative commercial and office developments has left us with a critical shortage of housing. This not only hampers accessibility and affordability but also has a profound impact on our economy and social fabric. It’s high time we prioritise the well-being of our citizens over misguided priorities that exacerbate existing issues.

“The ESRI’s report rightly points out that our tax system and regulatory framework can be potent tools for industry transformation. However, it requires imagination and political will. Current measures, such as the Help to Buy, have proven counterproductive, contributing to the escalating cost of housing. It’s incumbent on the government to reassess and redirect these policies for the benefit of all.

“While the ESRI’s proposal isn’t entirely novel, its well-framed nature demands serious consideration. The report backs Labour’s budget call for tax system to be used to incentivise move away from commercial building to residential. As we navigate the housing crisis, we must recognise the urgency and necessity of these suggested reforms to create a more sustainable and equitable housing landscape.

“The intersection of housing and climate concerns cannot be ignored. The ESRI rightly notes that climate impact must play a more significant role in measuring state investments. The government should demonstrate the courage to abandon projects that contribute to emissions, aligning with the broader challenge of meeting climate targets. Tackling the housing crisis and addressing climate change are not mutually exclusive; they are intertwined challenges demanding cohesive and forward-thinking solutions.

“The ESRI’s NDP report is a clarion call for immediate political action. It is a blueprint for a future where our housing sector is robust, affordable, and aligned with environmental sustainability. The time for political posturing is over; we must act decisively and urgently to reshape our future.”

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