‘The Scheme Tended To Benefit Well-Off Households More’

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Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy; Revenue’s Help to Buy Incentive; journalist Paul O’Donoghue


In The Times Ireland edition.

Paul O’Donoghue has looked at the Government’s Help To Buy scheme, which aims to help first-time buyers purchase new homes, and analysed who the scheme is helping…

He writes:

In September the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), a body set up to provide independent advice to TDs and senators, found that the scheme had cost the state a lot of money and tended to benefit well-off households more.

…The analysis also revealed that while homes worth €225,000 or less account for almost half of sales, only 13 per cent of people using Help to Buy bought property at this price.

Meanwhile, 21 per cent of claimants bought properties worth more than €375,000, which requires an income of almost €100,000. This was well above the national median salary in 2016 [€45,256], the latest year for which figures are available.

“This suggests that the scheme is largely benefiting households at the higher end of the income distribution,” the PBO said.

the assistance could apply only to homes worth a lower amount, such as €300,000. At present it is €500,000.

…But neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil is proposing that. Instead, people using Help to Buy will get more money. Again, this will probably go disproportionately to wealthier households.

There you go now.

Help to Buy throws money at the wrong people (Paul O’Donoghue, The Times Ireland edition)

Previously: ‘It’s Not Possible To Make Housing More Affordable By Just Increasing Supply’



14 thoughts on “‘The Scheme Tended To Benefit Well-Off Households More’

    1. Stephen

      The point of the scheme was to encourage developers to build by increasing the amount of money first time buyers have to spend on new homes thus increasing developers profits which encourages them to build.

      The problem is how the scheme is sold to us, its sold as Help To Buy when it doesn’t do that as it just increases the price of new homes.

      I would rather had they taken the same money and used it in a different way to encourage developers to build home. Be honest about where the money was going. Be it reducing the money developers have to pay to councils or tax breaks, just be honest about it, the money is ending up in developers pockets anyway.

  1. Joe

    This is based on the assumption that there is only one income involved. More often than not, that figure of 100k will be a two income household so the argument is a little disingenuous.

    1. george

      No it isn’t. 50,000 is well off. Only 14.1% of Irish households have an income over €100,000.
      64% of people earn less than 37,000.

      1. Wilhelm

        Our combined is 130k plus 5k in bonus and a few in mileage. I wouldn’t consider us well off. We have full time childcare costs, rent, savings for mortgage, transport.

  2. Dr.Fart

    have they ever done anything right while in power? I can’t think of anything. When they do try to help, they make things worse. They still claim ownership of repealing the 8th and the marriage ref., but they were the granting of basic human rights, of which they were opposed to until they saw they were popular. Holding a referendum isn’t a big achievement for a Government, i want to know have they every successfully implemented a good and true policy that has benefitted society and hasn’t been full of error and loop holes.

  3. V

    The HTB scheme is the Bank of You and Me
    And it’s purpose was always to top up The Bank of Mum and Dad

    If it was to have been a truly honest initiative to assist 1st time buyers in the AIW brackets there would have been a cap on market value of the acquisition property.
    Just like the stamp duty exemption for 1st time buyers was only allowed on properties under 500k (at one time ) same with the Urban Renewal Grants ( at one time too)

    It was always expected to deliver a benefit into the hands of Fine Gael’s preferred vote base. Which now – given the threat of Sinn Fein on both parties business futures – and since one needs the other to survive, is also Fianna Fáils voter pool.

    Good article btw

  4. Giles

    It should be help to rent or even your rent being able to be put against your tax but of course your landlords ppsi number given so the taxman has them in the tax net

    1. D

      > Rent Tax Credit Up to 31 December 2017, you could claim a tax credit if you paid for private rented accommodation. This included rent paid for flats, apartments or houses. It did not include rent paid to local authorities or the army. You could only claim a tax credit if you are renting on 7 December 2010.

      all govt intervention ends up in the pockets of someone.

      socialism for the already rich, capitalism for the poor

      it has failed.


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