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Snippet Contents:

Today, the Minister for Finance came in here to deliver what he believes to be a prudent and caring budget but in doing so, he used headline figures and very large numbers - billions and millions. However, it is only when one drills down into the detail, and we are starting to see that happen, that one can see that the headline figures start to lose their gloss. We have seen a bit of such decoding happen, and it does have to be decoded, already this evening when the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, was forced to admit to The Sunday Times that the increase for affordable housing is only €14 million rather than what was fanfared as €64 million. I think we would all agree that this is quite a significant difference in the headline versus the reality.
The Minister for Finance started off by acknowledging that Brexit is a major challenge facing the country and, of course, he is right and we all recognise that but so too is the housing crisis. This budget today does very little to recognise the importance of managing the housing crisis in a way that is not almost entirely dependent on the private market. The Minister began the housing section by talking about the need to find permanent solutions yet he then went on to commit funding to the most transient and insecure solution of all, which is HAP.