Housing Minister would be 'waste of time' without proper powers - Alan Kelly

The Acting Environment Minister says he "certainly didn't have access to all the leaders" during his time in office

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Environment Minister Alan Kelly in the press centre in Government Buildings | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The outgoing Environment Minister says appointing a Housing Minister would be a "waste of time" unless powers such as taxation are taken away from the Department of Finance.

Alan Kelly is appearing before the Housing and Homelessness Committee - which has been given just weeks to come up with solutions to the crisis.

He says the issue of objections to social housing and so called 'NIMBYism' also need to be addressed.

While the Labour TD supports the appointment of a dedicated Housing Minister, he says appointing a powerless minister will not be a solution.

"During the last couple of years, myself and [Minister of State] Paudie Coffey certainly didn't have access to all the leaders," he explained.

Suggesting that a new minister would need control over some taxation measures, Acting Minister Kelly said, "let's be frank about this - is any Government going to take away those powers off a Minister for Finance?"

Organisations such as the housing organisation Respond have been among those calling for the appointment of a dedicated Housing Minister in the next Cabinet.