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Senator Gerard P. Craughwell

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I come into this House frequently and I watch Oireachtas TV from the Lower House. I constantly hear debates on homelessness. I constantly hear accusations being thrown across the floor from all sides. Is it not time that we came together on homelessness? Is it not time that we stood together as one Oireachtas on homelessness, instead of constantly trying to score points off one another? A country that has been starved of resources for eight years cannot be rebuilt. It cannot be done. What we can do is hold those who caused the problem and those who exacerbated the credit situation to account for their actions.
This morning I got confirmation in the post that the good days are back. These are happy days in the banking world. I was offered a home improvement loan to be paid into my account instantly. This was printed on a document and when I opened it, my name was printed at the top as part of the graphic design. These people are offering me a home improvement loan but when a young couple come to me who have €30,000 handed to them by a parent to help them buy an apartment and who have shown an ability to pay €85,000 in rent over the last five years, the bank says that they have no savings record and that they cannot be given a mortgage. Come on. Let us be honest with one another in here. People who can afford to repay a mortgage are being denied loans by banks.
In fairness to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, I have seen him marched out day after day, but where is he to get the houses from? There is a housing estate not a stone's throw from my house which is almost complete. Not one house in it has been sold. There are barriers up to stop people going in. Why have no houses been sold? The developer is waiting until he finishes the estate and will make a serious killing then. Let us start pointing the guns at those who are causing the problem. Let us start looking at the banks. Let us start looking at the actions of the Central Bank. Social housing needs to be provided by local authorities, but let us stop having a go at one another all the time. I know what it is like to lose one's house. I lost mine. God damn it, it is not the way to talk about it. I would not have thanked anybody for talking about it. I wanted action. I pulled myself out of it. Let us help people to pull themselves out of it.