The Department of Finance in Ireland is planning what has been described as a “roadshow” to attract ‘Cuckoo Funds’, or foreign investment bulk-buying and letting of residential homes. This news has emerged as a result of an Irish Daily Mail investigation reported today. the investigation included communications with the relevant departments. It has been reported the plans include Minister for Finance Paschal O’Donohoe and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien giving presentations on the ‘roadshow’.
The revelation that both Ministers are being billed as the faces of a renewed International campaign to attract ‘Cuckoo Funds’ to bulk-buy residential properties is in contrast to reassurances given by government politicians that their introduction of a 10% Stamp Duty on bulk buying would ward off Cuckoo funds. Of course, it wasn’t long after introducing the new Stamp Duty that the government introduced measures that allowed ‘Cuckoo Funds’ not pay the duty if they lease the homes back to the state as ‘Social Housing’, a term with little meaning these days.
The government is desperate to attract Cuckoo Funds because their entire housing policy has one prong and one prong only, leave it to the ‘Free Market’, in other words a hands-off approach. It is so much easier for them, they don’t have to take on the enormous public works of the last century, let the ‘Free Market’ do it and sure they’’ll lob us a few quid for giving such an opportunity to them, maybe even a job. And of course the government do it all under the guise of ‘Strategy’ which in reality is their ideology of free-market absolutism, an economic extremist position that has led to a situation where we are heading into a Pandemic-based economic recession, and yet we have not recovered from the housing crisis of the last great recession eleven years ago.
The majority of the people in the country want the state to build homes directly, not necessarily solely, but directly. This can be seen not only in the rapid collapse of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil support in opinion polls, but also in the government’s original introduction of the 10% Stamp Duty on Bulk-buying of residential homes. They knew it was wrong that foreign investors were (and continue to) leave families on the street as they steam-roll by with their endless supply of capital and buy up all the available homes, only to let them out at a profit.
There is something very discomforting about the notion of Paschal O’Donohoe and Darragh O’Brien globetrotting with a roadshow on our behalf and with our funds, encouraging foreign investors to buy up all the residential homes in the state, and in doing so maintaining unaffordability into the century. Not only is it in contrast to the will of the people, but also attempts to copper-fasten their extremist ideology into the next government’s housing policy of which they are unlikely to be a part.
Paschal O’Donohoe was barely elected on the ninth count in 2020, in essence he was thoroughly rejected by the majority. Darragh O’Brien on the eight count, and yet they plan to strut the world-stage selling their one and only trick, ‘leave it to the free market’.