Fianna Fáil has gained 2 seats in Kildare North in the recent general election. Both candidates James Lawless and Frank O’Rourke were successful in their bid to win seats in Dáil Éireann in the election on 26th February 2016. Both candidates polled a remarkable 7,461 and 6,341 first preference votes respectively ensuring that Fianna Fáil is now the largest party in Kildare North at both council and national level. The result from neighbouring constituency Kildare South proved equally impressive as Sean Ó Fearghail and Fiona O’Loughlin were both elected also. The full results from Kildare North can be viewed here.
Cllr James Lawless has backed calls that the Central Bank rules on mortgage lending, in place since February of last year, need to be reviewed to examine the impact they are having on the ability of young couples and individuals to purchase their first home. In particular, he is calling for the rules to be modified in order that an established track record of paying rent is taken as evidence of ability to service a mortgage.
A survey carried out by Daft.ie last September found that it was cheaper to buy rather than to rent in 43 out of 54 areas covered by the survey. This means that, in up to 80% of the country, individuals and couples would actually be financially better off on a monthly basis paying a mortgage than paying rent for an equivalent property.
There was a full house at Cllr James Lawless’ recent election campaign event in Sallins. The event which was a breakfast for supporters was held at Café Grange in Sallins marked the first in a series of campaign events which the Lawless campaign will be holding around the Kildare North Constituency.
Cllr Lawless was selected in March as the Fianna Fáil candidate for the upcoming general election in Kildare North. The breakfast was a great success with queues forming out the door and barely enough chairs to seat everyone. A great buzz ensued, the mood was optimistic and all present were confident that Fianna Fáil will win a seat back in the constituency at the next election.
At the party’s Ard Fheis last weekend which took place in the RDS, Dublin, Cllr James Lawless spoke on the motion condemning the high interest rates charged by Irish banks on variable rate mortgages. These particular mortgages attract rates up to 2% higher than the average across the eurozone where interest rates are now at all time lows. Cllr Lawless, together with party finance spokesperson Michael McGrath TD, have condemned this practice and will be putting pressure on banks and the Government to address this anomaly which is costing families up to €6,000 extra in interest per annum compared to similar sized tracker mortgages. Below is a copy of Cllr Lawless’ speech.
Naas Fianna Fáil representative and 2014 local election candidate Rob Power has labelled last week’s budget as an attack on young people. He claims that the government seem to be convinced that young people would rather sit idle than get a job.
Trying to defend the €80 cut in dole payments to under 25’s last week Eamon Gilmore said “the place for any young person is not permanently in front of a flat screen TV. That was a disgraceful comment to make and goes to show how out of touch this government is with young people today” said Power.