A brilliant plan to get somebody onto the property ladder

Colm Lambert

Published 21/04/2015 | 00:00

Colm Lambert.
Colm Lambert.
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Whatever else might be said about this magnificent government of ours, let nobody say that they aren't doing their bit to help young people onto the property ladder.

For if a man's home is his castle, then Inda Kinny and his benevolent blueshirts are surely among the most illustrious kingmakers of all, as they bring us a plan so ingenious and so novel that it's a true wonder that it hasn't received the praise that it is surely due or seen the levels of excitement you might expect it to create.

If the new rules come to pass, then a young house-hunter would have the chance of living rent-free for seven years while saving up to buy a place of their own. And we're not talking some dingy bedsit or the sort of apartment that all those in-store Ikea displays are designed for ('Look how much storage space you can really have in a room too small to even fit a cat, never mind swing it!'). It's a pretty palatial place that they'd have the use of for their partying and their sleeping until noon.

Nor are we talking about scrapping and saving towards a deposit with the last ten or twenty quid each week from a low-paying job. Instead, the State would give the lucky rent-free young person a fairly generous allowance of about…oh, let's say €5,000. Per week.

Yup - it'd be a pretty good deal for that young person all round. Hence the surprise there aren't more of them twittering on the inter-web about how much they're looking forward to these government plans coming to pass. Because there's a very real chance that all this will be possible in just over a month's time - that's how close this paradise proposal actually is to becoming reality.

What do you mean, you haven't heard of it yourself? You're being asked to vote on it on May 22. You may just have heard about it in another way - as the actual question being put in the referendum is whether or not people should be allowed to stand for President from the age of 21 years and up, rather than 35.

Oh - you didn't actually realise the real intentions behind it, or you hadn't seen it as the wonderfully imaginative piece of lateral thinking that it really is? Shame on you. Because if this were not actually the case, then what we'd have instead is just the most stupid, most pointless, biggest waste of time and money referendum ever - and do you really think our esteemed leaders would allow that to happen?

You do? All right then, time to come clean. I do too.

All of the issues and problems and challenges facing the country, what in the name of blueshirt blazes made somebody decide that one of the most pressing of all was what age the successor to Mickey D. Higgins might be? That we should change our Constitution to give ourselves the option of electing as our next president somebody who wasn't even born when Ray Houghton put the ball in the England net?

And who'd really want a 24- or 25-year-old president anyway, other than their twenty-something-year-old friends who'd have a great place to crash out after a night on the beer? The advocates of the 'Aras for the young' movement say there are many of that age who would be perfectly capable of taking on Presidential roles and duties - but image a decision about the Constitutionality of a controversial new law on abortion, for example, being referred to a president of that age for a decision.

They might think they know it all - we all did, when we were younger. For example, I knew everything when I was 25, I don't know everything now, but I still know more now than I knew then - if you know what I mean. And if you do know what I mean, then you know more now that you did twenty seconds ago, if you're 25 or any other age - but that's beside the point. With that point being that whatever about knowledge, wisdom is a different thing (remember Brian O'Driscoll and his talk about tomatoes and fruit salad?), and wisdom generally comes with age.

So, if you want the President of the State to have the wisdom to actually carry out that role properly, then it's unlikely that you'll find somebody in their twenties or early thirties to fit the bill.

Which means you should probably vote 'no' in the referendum. But get this - it doesn't actually matter. Because nobody that young will ever be a serious candidate for President, in any of our lifetimes anyway. That's how stupid and pointless this referendum really is.

There should actually be three boxes on the ballot paper - one for 'yes', one for 'no', and one for 'I don't really give a sh**'. Guess which one would be ticked most?

Wexford People

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