Outside the offices of the Department of Finance on Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2.
Supporters of Home Sweet Home, including Carrie Hennessy (speaking in photograph above), deliver a letter and petition calling on the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, to direct NAMA to use its property assets to address the homelessness crisis.
Outside Apollo House on Poolbeg Street, off Tara Street, Dublin 2.
Supporters of the Home Sweet Home occupation of the building – including Transition Year students Emma and Aisling, from Tipperary, top – gather before marching to the Department of Finance offices.
There, a letter and petition will be given to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, calling on him to direct NAMA to use its property assets to address the homelessness and housing crisis in Ireland.
On foot for receiving the aforementioned letter and petition…
The Department of Finance has released the following statement:
The Department of Finance today received a letter from the Home Sweet Home group, which is ten pages long and covers details relevant to the actions taken by that group. The Department of Finance will consider the content and a response will issue in due course.
The Government are aware of the powers of NAMA under the NAMA Act 2009.
NAMA has already been active in this space and have offered almost 7,000 units to local authorities for use as social housing. NAMA advise that of these local authorities have taken up c. 2,400 units for social housing use.
NAMA also has plans to facilitate the delivery of 20,000 private residential units on sites securing its loans in Dublin and its surrounds in the period to 2020.
NAMA is well on its way to deliver on that target and from Q1 2014 to December 2016 have facilitated the delivery of 4,500. The associated 10% social housing delivered on such sites should not be forgotten and is a further meaningful contribution to addressing shortages. This initiative highlights how NAMA can advance its commercial mandate whilst also being mindful of ancillary social objectives.
The availability of housing is the key priority for Government and has been the focus of a number of measures introduced under the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Plan. The Department of Finance, the Minister for Finance, and NAMA continue to support that work.
The post of chief of the Finance Department left vacant by Kevin Cardiff’s appointment to the European Court of Auditors prompted the following editorial this morning.
You may want to sit down.
The finance department once attracted the best brains in the civil service, often the best brains in the country. To some extent it still does.
But in recent decades and especially during the Celtic Tiger era, its deficiencies multiplied. When the crash came, it was exposed to the same glaring light that fell on other institutions.
Now it needs a chief who will shake it up from top to bottom…there is a strong argument in favour of choosing an outsider…But how much should the outsider be paid?
…The cap on Public spending remuneration is €200,000 a year. Most likely a suitable candidate and his/her partner earn more than double that. Very Likely too, they have a house to sell, another house to buy, substantial possessions to be transported, children to be placed in fee-paying schools. Here is a strain on patriotism if ever there was one.
In principle, and as a statement of intent, the cap is justified and reasonable.
But there is an exception to every rule and there should be an exception to this one.
We should not allow a return to old-style thinking which places the preservation of an insider network above the real public interest.
Irish Independent editorial (not available online)