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September 2018 Archives

Land Prices & Common Good

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Assuming population projections materialise and given that that Ireland's landmass will remain unchanged, we can expect, with great certainty, further immense pressure on prices for development land for homes, other buildings and infrastructure.

This begs the question as to why such prices are not regulated given that underlying changes in land use are determined by the apparatus of the State.  As the benefits of land ownership often arise from speculation or inheritance, why should unearned, windfall profits always accrue to owners and not to society at large?

Methinks, the time has arrived to dust off the long-fingered Kenny Report in line with the Constitution's qualifications about the "common good" trumping private ownership in the interests of social justice. After all, the State already has. for example, ownership of mineral and mining rights under the land and broadcasting waves above the land.

Letter published in the Irish Times on 20th August 2018.

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