On passing the new development on Charlemont Street, I was struck by the wording on the hoarding around the site. At the moment, it is a giant hole in the ground, with construction vehicles coming and going (and parking in the cycle lanes, forcing cyclists out into the busy traffic of course). I wonder what, in the developer’s mind, makes this iconic? How can something be iconic before it is even built? The GPO is iconic. Croke Park is iconic. The Pigeon House is iconic. Charlemont Square is a building site, and will be another run-of-the-mill concrete and glass block, designed to make property developers, landlords and REITs richer. With of course a cursory amount put aside as affordable housing.
Before the recent demolition, three block of social housing apartments stood, mostly empty and falling into disrepair. The land was then taken over by a property developer, and, in perfect Fine Gael logic, the State will then buy back some of the apartments for the aforementioned affordable housing. The real beneficiaries are the landlords of course.
Who also benefit from Tuesday’s budget. Those poor, poor landlords have been given a further tax break. The budget has also increase VAT on the hospitality sector, thusly making hotels even more expensive, and making even more visitors use Airbnb. Therefore creating more pressure on the housing sector. This government aren’t even pretending anymore are they? They could not give a shit about fixing the housing and homeless crises. Some lip service was given in the Dáil last week, and despite the government’s protestations, it was voted to declare the state of the housing and homeless situation a national emergency. All well and good, but fast-forward one week, and the budget does fuck all to address it. Again, some money put aside for affordable housing, but no actual houses being built by the State itself. So much for the ’emergency’. As you were Ireland.
So, the private sector, REITs, and vulture funds will continue to benefit. Two days after the budget came the revelations about the dodgy dealings regarding Ireland’s broadband. This country continues to be a playground for the elite at the expense of the rest of us. They even want to bastardise the word iconic. Is there nothing they don’t have their claws in?