CIF pre-budget Lobby Team (September 2015)
In a recent post on a financial blog, ‘FinFacts’, there was a report on Irish house prices and the dysfunction in the system claiming that,
“The current housing crisis is in the Dublin area and is the result of decades of poor planning, the aversion to high rise related to a misreading of the failed Ballymun public housing project in the 1960s, and the failure to address the land issue.
The evidence so far is that the current Irish Government like its predecessors hasn’t the vision to develop housing and related transport policies for a capital city that will work for years ahead.
In the Budget statement in October 2014, Michael Noonan, finance minister, a strong believer in the power of tax incentives, announced the cutting of the crisis period windfall profits tax on rezoned land from 80% to 33% following lobbying from the likes of Tom Parlon of the Construction Industry Federation. Parlon, a farmer, was IFA president when the deal on land for road building was agreed in 2001. Two years later as a government minister, he warned that any changes in the property rights in the Constitution would be akin to an “approach…gift-wrapped in an ideology somewhere left of Stalin.” In 2004 the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution said there was no constitutional impediment to measures which could be used to prevent speculators from distorting the housing market by hoarding land.
However, one of the world’s biggest housing crashes and a public tribunal on planning corruption sitting for 15 years could not change the status quo that is the mother of all stealth taxes.
During the property boom site costs in Dublin jumped from less than 10% of the cost of apartments in the city up to the mid 1990s, to 50%. Also in 2004, Brian Cowen, finance minister, disclosed that 28% of the cost of a new house comprised Value Added Tax (VAT) and other public charges.
The article also noted how the price of a Dutch house in Amsterdam, the commercial capital of The Netherlands, only doubled in more than 350 years according to IMF research. In Ireland through boom, bust and recovery, real prices have almost doubled in about 20 years. The full article may be accessed here: (Link:)
Parlon popped up again last Sunday on an RTE News report about recent controversial changes to apartment standards and it was stated that “the Lobbying Register shows that the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Director General, Tom Parlon, lobbied the Department of the Environment during September to December 2015, specifically on policy relating to Planning” Links:
In fact the Lobbying Register records 40 returns from the CIF, many related to housing policy; see LOBBYING.IE SEARCH “CIF”
Finfacts is Ireland’s leading business/financial services portal service providing analyses that has defied conventional wisdom through Ireland’s boom, bust and now its recovery.
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