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Morgan - Estimates show housing obviously not a priority

13 November, 2003

Speaking following the publication of the Government Estimates for 2004 Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Arthur Morgan TD, has castigated the lack of commitment and funding for social housing in the proposed estimates.

Deputy Morgan said: "When the price of new houses nationally grew by 13% in the year to June 03 and the price of second hand houses grew by 17.9% in the same period, it is clear that an increase of 3% for Local Authority and Social Housing Programmes will do absolutely nothing to address the needs of the 48,000 people on local authority waiting lists. It is barely in line with the rate of inflation.

"It makes an absolute mockery of the nonsense which the Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Noel Ahern keeps repeating in the Dáil about the supposed commitment of the Government to addressing the housing crisis.

"The 48,000 people on housing waiting lists and the 6000 homeless people have nothing to celebrate this evening. Any hope they may have had about securing access to housing will have vanished. If this is the attitude of the Government there is very little prospect for any resolution to the housing crisis. The Government's continuing failure to act in the interest of the disadvantaged who are worst hit by the housing crisis was the context in which Sinn Féin attempted to enshrine the right to housing in the 1937 Constitution." ENDS

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