Huge disparity between citizens with Dublin earnings 36.7% higher than Donegal: Pringle

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The huge disparity between earnings in Donegal and Dublin – the average citizen in the capital enjoys an income 36.7% above their North West counterpart – means housing is unaffordable for most people, it’s been claimed.

Donegal TD Thomas Pringle says low earnings are locking people out of the housing market.

“Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures released this month show that earnings in my constituency of Donegal remain the lowest in the country.

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"Looking at earnings by county, median weekly earnings for Dublin were 9.9 per cent higher than the median weekly earnings for the State, and a huge 36.7 per cent higher than Donegal, which at €517.93, had the lowest median weekly earnings.

Thomas PringleThomas Pringle
Thomas Pringle

"Taking this into account, we need to consider how this impacts those looking to buy a home. Mortgage providers look at peoples' wages to determine the amount they may borrow,” he told the Dáil.

Deputy Pringle said there are very few affordable properties in Donegal.

“The median Donegal weekly wage translates into €26,889 per annum. I rounded this up to €27,000 although I doubt banks would be so generous, and I put it into a few mortgage calculators.

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"A single person on this wage, with no dependants and no monthly outgoings at all, which we know is virtually impossible, may be eligible for a mortgage of €89,487.

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"Taking this figure, I looked to see how many homes were for sale in the entire county of Donegal. One hundred and eight were available for under €150,000 and only 35 were available for under €100,000, which would still be way beyond the reach of the average person according to the figures. In the entire county four were available for under €75,000.

"I am sure it is no stretch of the imagination to picture how derelict and unfit for habitation these four would be without considerable renovation and expenditure,” he told TDs.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said progress is being made on the delivery of affordable housing.

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“The local authorities are delivering affordable homes. I would say to Deputy Pringle that these are indisputable figures. I am not making them up. If we look at local authorities delivering social homes, the delivery last year is something that is indisputable: 10,253 new social homes last year. That is the highest number since 1975,” he said.