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Tax breaks for landlords will increase profits but do nothing for renters - Ellis

15 January, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has dismissed proposals by Environment Minister Alan Kelly to give tax breaks to landlords as a sop to landlords which will not help renters who are in danger of losing to their homes as rents continue to increase.

Deputy Ellis said;

"This proposal is not any kind of solution. The problem with rents is caused by the very high demand for rented accommodation and the very low supply in comparison. Landlords feel they can ask for anything and will find someone desperate enough to pay it. The cost of renting a home in Dublin has gone up by 30-40% in the last few years so tax relief for landlords will only result in greater profit for those currently renting. If there were thousands of homes in Dublin not being rented because of poor returns and rising costs then this policy would make sense. This is not the case though.

“The solution to the unaffordable rents being demanded in Dublin is two pronged. Firstly we must immediately set down plans for rent controls to be put in place which would limit the ability of landlords to raise rents and tie these controls to the ability of people to pay for them as well as the quality of the accommodation. The government have refused to do this because they are more interested in the profit margins of landlords than stopping the flow of renters into homeless services.

“The second prong is to put major investment into building social housing. The government have claimed to be doing this but have actually only promised an extra 36 million annually over the next 3 years. Sinn Féin has called for immediate release of 1 billion euro from the Strategic Investment Fund which would build 6600 houses and create jobs.

“The solution is to control prices now and to build more houses as soon as possible. Lining the pockets of landlords who are throwing people out because they cannot afford unreasonable hikes in rent is abhorrent and lacks any logic or sense of fairness."

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