Taken from this Irish Times article in advance of the 4 part documentry on Bertie due to screen soon. Regarding property, our former Taoiseach states the following.
I don’t usually pay too much attention to the self-serving pronouncements from our politicians, that seems to pass as informed debate. But I must admit this sickened me.
Is this the same Bertie who, in the Spring of 2006, rubished forecasters who, in Autumn 2005, warned about the potential of house price falls?!? He went on to say that people who acted on these forecasts and didn’t purchase were now down money, before continuing that, in fact eh, the “boom is getting boomier”.
Or the same Bertie who sometime later (Autumn 2006 AFAIR) rubished forecasters who were warning of tough times ahead for Ireland and the property market? In this case he questioned how they could live with their negativity and wondered why they just didn’t commit suicide.
Funny that this is what I remember about Bertie. For some reason I don’t recall him warning FTBs to look before they leap and think about the possibility of negative equity and the consequences that could have.
And now he bouldly and smuggly states that he, and indeed “we all”, knew that property was overpriced and the correction had to happen. Sickening.
The fact that our former Taoiseach (and self proclaimed graduate of the London School of Economics) doesn’t understand that the global housing boom caused the credit crisis is bizarre and speaks volume about the economic literacy of the teachers, solicitors and assorted others who make up our political elite.
Almost every housing related action taken by the government implied they hadn’t a clue house prices were over valued.
For instance public servant salaries were allowed chase and drive house prices. (I bought around 2000 when as I could still relatively easily afford a house and worried about what would happen to an already overheated market when the unfireables got massive pay rises via benchmarking and PPF. Teachers were looking for a terrifying 30% plus rise at the time)
Planning departments bought up new offices and loaded up on permanent staff no doubt due to 90k houses being built a year being assumed to be sustainable.
The “affordable” housing scheme clearly assumed at government level that Irish salaries were too low not prices too high. Councils were responsible for a good chunk of house buying at close to the top of the market when other buyers had dissapeared.
Stamp duty changes were made with no understanding of market dynamics. The last changes last year helped drive prices down by removing some artificial support points in house prices (not a bad thing but not the intention which was to get house sales going again). Also they’ve managed to set stamp duty levels at a rate where tax income will be drastically reduced with realistic house prices. Not a good idea to depend on stamp duties for tax since they’re too variable but still I’m sure they’d like a little more money from it.
This statement, IMHO, is a damning indictment of the man (by himself no less), of the Fianna Fail party, the political system and the VI’s who hyped up the market.
He claims he knew that house prices were overvalued, while at the same time continuing to call people to the market and denouncing those who suggested otherwise as “unpatriotic”. From that it would seem, that his (and perhaps his party’s) definition of patriotism is the sacrifice of future of the county’s young and indeed its economy to fulfil the ideals of the Fianna Fail party … completely in keeping with the Pol Pot esque isolationist, little island views of his party’s founder.
Today I am proud to say that I am patriotic, I am a free market capitalist and I do not vote for Fianna Fail and have no intention of voting for them in the future.
Mr. Ahern claims that as Taoiseach and president of Fianna Fail he knew Ireland was experiencing a debt fuelled property bubble. From that we can reasonably assume that the Fianna Fail party knew, that the government parties all knew and the opposition knew. We already know the banks and building societies knew, the builders knew, the estate agents knew, the independent economists knew, the international economic bodies knew, the 'pin knew … and yet, those who saw what was going on and pointed out that “the emperor was naked” were denounced in public as doom sayers and unpatriotic, while those who remained silent or openly lied were handed the future of the country of a silver platter.
It’s almost like a rejected sub plot from an Orwell novel, or a real life extract from G.W.Bush’s America.
A perversion of not only the office of Taoiseach but of both the political system and the markets for political, and probably personal gain. Sickening … truly sickening.
I prefer to think of him simply as a selfish gombeen cunt - bad cess to him.
However, unlike the popular view of London buses, there will be another one like him along any day now - FF seem to have a continuous production plant churning out these self-enriching loathsome fuckers.
He *should *be ostracised by all. But without a doubt there will be a alarmingly large percentage of the populace who will remember him as a great man who was “done out of office by the meeeeedja and the begrudgers” There are specimens out there still who think that CJ Haughy was a great lad really at the end of the day.
I fantasise about an Ireland where not only would the man himself be spat on in public but people would seek to distance themselves from his family (because that is how you get at somebody in Ireland). But it won’t happen.