‘Constitutional Difficulties’


From top: Most houses on the new Mullen estate, Maynooth, county Kildare were purchased by Round Hill Capital; Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien

This morning.

Via RTÉ:

Proposals that could lead to changes in the tax treatment of institutional investors in property in Ireland could be considered by Government ministers as early as next week, RTÉ News understands.

….The indications from the Government this morning are that an outright ban on investors buying homes in housing estates would raise constitutional difficulties.

There is a view that the biggest part of addressing the issue will centre on changes to current tax incentives.

Govt further examining investment fund housing issue (RTÉ)


Tanaiste Leo Varadkar defended the role of investment funds in the wake of revelations of them buying up large numbers of houses in some new estates.

He said a lot of the apartment buildings in Dublin would not have been built without investment funds which would mean fewer homes in the capital. Mr Varadkar said these funds run apartment complexes well and they are often better managed than if apartments are leased by 30 or 40 different landlords.

However, the Tánaiste said it was never envisaged they would buy whole housing states “over the heads” of first-time buyers or an approved housing body.

‘They are gunning for him’: Housing Minister criticised at Fine Gael meeting as Leo Varadkar defends investment funds (Independent.ie)


Last night: No Bay? No Meadows? We’ll Take It



34 thoughts on “‘Constitutional Difficulties’

  1. eamonn

    wheels within wheels, too complex for the little man to watch without getting dizzy.
    just keep them spinning,
    your enemy disguised as your friend

  2. ce

    Constitutional Difficulties Elephant stomps into the room once again… usually follows the Danger of Unintended Consequences Elephant…

    “However, the Tánaiste said it was never envisaged they would buy whole housing states “over the heads” of first-time buyers or an approved housing body.” – funnily enough, the Danger of Unintended Consequences was mostly ignored when the scheme was set up… how convienient

  3. Inevitable

    And yet there are no apparent ‘Constitutional Difficulties’ when it comes to destroying the nation’s God-Given right to breathe.

    Strange that.

    1. Clampers Outside

      Wasn’t the constitution set up to protect the people, not corporations, so what ‘difficulties’ are they talking about?
      I need an explainer.

      Is Broadsheet’s Legal Coffee Drinker in the house :)

      1. Junkface

        Yes I was thinking the same. Where exactly in the Irish constitution does it mention foreign investors like vulture funds?

        ..and Leo Varadkar is talking through his hole again.

        1. goldenbrown

          sure this is Varadkers bag, his kinda lifestyle design, he loves it

          tis like watching David8 in Alien

    2. Junkface

      This is what they did in Vancouver, Canada. They left fairly quick afterwards.

  4. Dr.Fart

    what we’ll see now is FF and FG blame each other endlessly. Make small, toothless adjustments so as to appear to take action. Blame each other again. Claim small adjustments will take effect “soon, these things don’t happen overnight”, blame each other again. Which will lead us up to the next GE. Both parties will claim if voted in they’ll fix the housing problem caused by the other side. One of the two or both parties will be voted back in.

    And this will happen until the young voters come through with enough numbers to outvote the voters keeping them in.

      1. goldenbrown

        yes Bort

        I believe if FFG don’t find some new way to discredit them quickly and they don’t implode themselves then that’s exactly what you’re looking at here

        this is going to turn into an “us vs them” election

        it’s FG v SF for the title

      2. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

        Bort , I believe I’d vote for Satan to hand this shower of …..’s their walking papers

      3. Dr.Fart

        yes, Bort. I would vote for SF ahead of FF or FG. Would you STILL vote for FF or FG? if so, why? and don’t say you’d just vote for them solely because you can’t stand SF. Thats no reason to vote for someone.

        My answer would be, I trust Eoin O’Broin with the job of housing minister. He fully understands what’s happening, why its happening, and how to change it. FF and FG are tied to their ideologies and are incapable of the much needed drastic change.

        1. JEH

          Why is SF always the boogeyman? FF and FG have been running the country into the ground for years. How could SF do any worse? Give some other idiots a chance. The bar is so low right now I don’t see how they couldn’t succeed.

      4. Gavin Stokes

        Yep will be getting my vote, Id like to see if they are all talk or can actually make a serious change….as its perfectly clear the current lot are only interested in lining their own pockets

    1. JEH

      Exactly. The same group of idiots keep getting voted in and nothing ever changes. And then people are surprised that nothing has changed.

      1. Dr.Fart

        yea, the whole “well who are we meant to vote for then?” line is so disheartening. and you hear it a lot. so so many people in Ireland are badly effected by FF/FG policy and they know it, and they still go and vote for them. I think it harks back to being governed by the English. like some kind of victim syndrome, where we need a harsh oppressor making life hard for us.

  5. goldenbrown

    lest anyone thinks their current FFG construct has just had an omg moment about the “unintended consequences” from FG’s housing market design let me assure you that all that’s goin down amongst our govt. employees today is this –

    because sausage fingers seems to have completely forgotten to include the spin dept. in his bigtime legislation proclamations he completely botched the timing and communications angle and now FG’s funds trick is highly exposed, it’s glow-in-the-dark visible to an enraged key demographic affecting their re-election prospects….and now there are two problems of perception that have to be solved fast up at HQ:

    1) how to trick a key demographic that will 100% punish them in the next GE
    2) how to keep their REIT and banker buddies happy assuming they cannot/willnot reverse course and SF wheel into power next GE (if that happens watch the share prices collapse)

    that’s all that’s going on here, managing perception certainly not helping US, certainly not substance

    lol, they’re gonna have to pull out all the stops to hide this one away (my guess is some major SF something something because they can’t even pray for a plane crash to come along…there isn’t enough of them in the air!)

    1. V AKA Frilly Keane

      In fairness GB
      FF participated in the laying out the Welcome mat for Private Equity and FDI into Housing every bit as much as FG
      No better lads for the handy tax arrangements themselves
      + Amnesties

      And don’t think Sinn Féin are going to be any different
      Best we can hope for is they’ll stick a few ticks onto the tax and vat rates
      And send social housing back to the Local Authorities
      – but bare in mind they’ve mangled housing in the Councils they controlled – remember they had a terrible 2019 Local Election

      If Differential Rent was actually imposed on Foreign & Corporate Landlords, then maybe we could figure something out
      But ultimately tis as it ever was
      FUJ I’m alright

      Here https://twitter.com/ActingTheGom/status/1389957938366885889?s=19

      And note from that tweet.
      That Private Interest of Willie’s is in the public domain, yet the Voters return him with room to spare

      1. goldenbrown

        yep, plentiful participation in this scheming up on Kildare Street….maybe an opportunity for some firebrand journo to get stuck in I hope to reveal where all the fingers are

        and yeah you’re right, FF were always up to their necks in builders muck but FG are todays pinstripe suited lead Architects

        and yes, even if SF were competent and honest operators I can’t for the life of me see how they could correct an awful lot here, imagine the resistance they’ll face at all sorts of levels

        but I DO believe that so long as they don’t fupp this up on themselves and assuming half the country haven’t already emigrated by then they’ll be in as near as dammit standalone power come next GE

        (sure we haven’t even seen the bill for covid yet! lol)

  6. Madam x

    I can remember one David McWilliams pointing out this scenario maybe over 10 years ago now. Paddy buying back the houses Paddy sold to Vulture funds at an enormous cost to aull Paddy. years later. Doh

  7. GiggidyGoo

    Can his Majesty, Varadkar point us to the section of the Constitution I wonder?
    I see Noel Rock and Paudie Coffey are dipping their fingers in as well. Them, and god knows how many more
    Mick Noonan having a good old laugh.

    O’Brien now following in the footsteps of Jeffrey Donaldson being invited to address FG.

      1. Johnny

        Given the absolute state irish builders….it’s no wonder yank polo players who can’t get a deal done in states are your new overlords.

        Hold on a minute,let me just move the goal posts,most institutional investors will bail over this derelict corporate governance- you can’t change the deal-duh.

        ‘the company said at the time of its IPO that founder directors would not participate in an LTIP for the seven-year duration of the founder stock scheme…’

  8. Johnny

    It’s not a taxation issue,but a supply issue,how is this latest wheeze not inflationary ?
    -simples solution cap the rent.
    Nice piece by Coffey on them yanks,is the tail wagging the dog ?
    -Around 60% of Irish corporate tax is paid by US MNCs. Figures from the US tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), show that US MNCs paid $7.9bn of corporate income tax in Ireland in 2018.

    -Ireland is the third-largest recipient in the world of corporate income taxes from US MNCs.

    -In 2014, Ireland’s corporation tax revenues were around €4bn – last year they were almost €12bn.

    -Figures from the IRS show that in 2018 US MNCs had around 150,000 employees in Ireland.

    -The employment of US MNCs in Ireland is equivalent to 3% of the population and around 7% of employment.

    -Ireland has the highest share of employment arising in US MNCs across all EU countries.


  9. ce

    Any chance of a full list of current/former FG and FF folks (Cllr. TD, Sen, MEP, Senior party members/advisors etc.) engaged with property companies/entities involved in housing, including family homes, student accommodation, direct provision etc. … and what the hell every other party too…

    Obviously a lot are actual landlords, but others are engage din the ‘market/casino’ in other ways too

    … might be a nice website if somebody has the time…

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