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Government’s proposals for rental sector will compound difficulties faced by citizens - Adams

13 December, 2016 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking in the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions this afternoon, has said the government’s strategy for the residential rental sector “lacks not only ambition, but will compound the difficulties faced by citizens”.

He said “the most glaring omission is a system of rent certainty which would link annual rent reviews to an index, like the Consumer Price Index, as proposed by the Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee”.

 Teachta Adams said:

 “Today, the Government launched their long overdue and long promised propositions for the residential rental sector. Sinn Féin had hoped, despite the reluctance of the Government to support it in the past, that rent certainty would be part of the plan.

“We hoped that some relief would be given to the over 700,000 citizens struggling with increasing rents. The case for doing so couldn’t be more obvious. Rents have risen almost twelve percent since this time last year, and they are continuing to rise because the government have abjectly failed to address the rental crisis. It is the largest annual rental increase on record.

“Last month, DAFT’s Quarterly Rental Report show average rents across the State are now over €1,000 per month. In Dublin the figure is over €1,500. It’s out of control and rents are already at unsustainable levels.

 “Today’s announcement lacks not only ambition, but will actually compound the difficulties faced by citizens. The most glaring omission is a system of rent certainty which would link annual rent reviews to an index, like the Consumer Price Index, as proposed by the Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee.

 “What has been produced is an ad-hoc package, from an ad-hoc government, that plucks an arbitrary figure of four percent that can be applied to rent increases annually in Dublin and Cork.

 “What that means is those currently renting an average property in Dublin will pay an extra €2,314 over the course of three years. In Cork city, it will be an extra €1,628. For those outside of Dublin and Cork, the same rules will apply - the same rules that are already pushing people into homelessness.

 “Average rents in my own constituency of Louth are now €913 per month - a fifteen percent increase on the same period last year. That means in Dundalk, citizens are paying €400 extra in rent a year. In Drogheda, it’s almost €700 extra. These citizens need the governments help. They haven’t got it.

 “In this term, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have voted against Sinn Féin’s rent certainty proposals three times. Why? Because they say you can’t interfere with the market.

“In their book, it’s okay to force through emergency laws to cut public services and wages. It’s entirely okay to reward the greed of private bankers. It’s entirely okay to force struggling families to pay that bill. But they won’t bring in rent certainty. They could do it today if they wanted. They could link rent increases to the Consumer Price Index and I would urge them to do that.” ENDS

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