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Government stance on homelessness nothing short of inept – McDonald

8 July, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking after challenging Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil today on the €18.5 million deficit in the Dublin City Council budget to deal with homelessness, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has described the government stance on homelessness as “nothing short of inept” and that Minister Alan Kelly must appear before the Dáil and answer the very serious questions that remain after his much lauded guarantees on homelessness last December.

Deputy McDonald said:

“I was deeply troubled by the non-answers I received from the Taoiseach when I directly challenged him on the very serious issue of the €18.5 million deficit in the DCC budget for homelessness. Amidst his usual bluster, it became apparent that, when it comes to the homelessness and housing crisis, this government is simply inept. The government rapidly needs to examine its approach to homelessness and realise that the sticking plaster approach that it takes to social policy is not good enough. This is not about making headlines; this is about helping some of the most vulnerable in our society. 

“Only last month, Minister Alan Kelly informed Cork City Council that a new housing development could not be opened until he was available to personally attend. The Minister needs to appear before the Dáil and give concrete assurances that the government is taking the matter of homelessness seriously. He also needs to meet immediately with the Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhálaigh. Two families a day lost their homes in May and June. This happened on the government’s watch and they seem utterly detached from the hurt and anguish that has been caused to thousands of families in Ireland during their tenure.” 

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