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Burton not listening to those suffering under Rent Supplement cuts - Ó Clochartaigh

4 July, 2012


Sinn Féin has criticised Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, for her attitude towards rent supplement recipients and for her failure to respond to the difficulties they are facing due to cuts.

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh criticised the Minister following the Government’s rejection of a Sinn Féin motion calling on the Department of Social Protection to negotiate contracts directly with landlords.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“The situation people are facing is stark. It is utterly unacceptable that tenants are expected to try and renegotiate their leases downwards directly with their landlords and for many it is proving impossible.

“However, despite this, it is clear from our Seanad debate that Minister Burton is just not listening. Unlike her Labour party colleagues in the Seanad, she merely indulged in petty political attacks on Sinn Féin, and refused to engage with the issues at hand.

“It is apparent that the Minister has no intention of taking any action to resolve what is fast becoming a crisis and is placing all her bets on a longer term reform of the area.”

“Those affected simply cannot wait for reform. They cannot wait for the overhaul of this system. This is hitting them today. They are looking at losing their homes and having to uproot their families from their schools and communities. They need help now.”

“I am calling on the Minister to reconsider her position, reverse the rent caps and to direct her officials to engage directly with landlords to ensure no rent supplement recipient loses their home.”

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