Fine Gael/Fianna Fail - The Landlords coalition - Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan
Last evening the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil coalition was again working hard in the Seanad to block Rent Certainty as it was voted down as an amendment in the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill.
Speaking during the debate, Limerick based Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan said:
“Cathaoirleach, with permission I would like to use the “C” word – that word being class. Let’s not beat around the bush – this Rent Certainty proposal has drawn a clear divide in the house, and that line is between the different interests being represented by each party.
“On one hand you have Fine Gael, making the case for the landlord class, for the people who do have wealth in this country and for the people who have done very well through the last ten years of austerity, and they make this case without shame or even without embarrassment.
“And then standing with Fine Gael, we have Fianna Fail, a party who has openly said that the country needs rent certainty, but tonight they tell us that it is too soon to help these tenants! Once again, talking out of both sides of their mouth.
“While on this side of the house, Sinn Féin and others on the left are united on the issue. We are demanding that rent certainty be legislated for in order to provide for protections to tenants and families.
“We are told that there will be a report published in the following months – but in reality there is no need for further discussion. We all know what the issue is, and we know that rent certainty is the solution. Something needs to be done, and we have a chance here tonight in this chamber to move things on.
“Last Monday, a young family came to my clinic in Limerick, they have three children and are being evicted, as it stands they will have nowhere to stay at Christmas. They happen to be travellers. They are the very best of people, who’s neighbours are gutted to see them being forced out onto the road. They will never get a house through HAP, because landlords shamefully do not give houses to travellers.
“But let’s not have crocodile tears in relation to this issue. The facts are that we’ve been waiting 90 years under conservative rule for decent tenants’ rights, and this debate here tonight would tell us that we shouldn't expect anything different from this Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coaltion."