The failure of the Government to announce an affordable housing programme for people not eligible for social housing and unable to secure a mortgage, was a missed opportunity in Tuesday’s Budget, according to Cork East TD, Kevin O’Keeffe.

He described it as 'a bad oversight by the Government, explaining that there is an entire generation of people who earn too much and cannot be considered for social housing, 'but yet don’t earn enough to get a mortgage to buy their own home'. 

“We run the very real risk that thousands of people will never have the opportunity and benefit of owning their own home,” he said.

He said while this was a concern, there had been successes in the Budget, ‘many of them at the insistence of Fianna Fáil’.

He said his party secured positive movement in terms of reducing the pupil-teacher ratio and in tripling the funding of the National Treatment Purchase Fund to over €55 million to deal with waiting lists.

“These are two key priorities in the Confidence and Supply Arrangement that my party has with Fine Gael.”

With regards agriculture, O’Keeffe said: “I welcome the increased funding of €25m for the Areas of Natural Constraint scheme in Budget 2018. It is vital that this funding is allocated to the most appropriate areas. I am however concerned about the increase in stamp duty on non-residential assets from 2% to 6%. This completely over the top and will have a big impact on people trying to consolidate farm holdings."

Concluding, he said his party will continue to work hard to ensure that further improvements are made in the next Budget.