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Government proposals fail those in private rented sector – Adams

14 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 proposals for the private rental sector fail the 700,000 citizens living in rented accommodation, saying the proposals would make matters worse for them.

He appealed to the Taoiseach to “do the right thing and introduce rent certainty, not rent punishment and link rent increases to the Consumer Price Index”, saying “it’s the only solution that will adequately tackle the crisis” facing renters.

Teachta Adams said:

“Yesterday, I raised with the Taoiseach the government’s ill thought-out proposals for the residential rental sector. I focused on two elements; one was the absence of rent certainty and the other was the failure to deal with the difficulties, or even to acknowledge the difficulties, faced by families in rented accommodation outside of Dublin or Cork city. 

“I did this because these are two of the big failures of the proposals, but also because I did not have sight of them all. That’s the way the government does its business. The media was briefed. The document, complete with glossy brochure, and all the other PR accoutrements was launched outside of the Dáil. TDs who actually have to vote on these measures were kept in the dark about the detail. 

“Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD put in ninety amendments at Committee stage of the Bill, which included one on rent certainty. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voted it down.

“All the while, the 700,000 citizens in the private rented sector are being fleeced.

“The Taoiseach said last year: ‘It is clear that interference in the market, to its detriment, is not something we should do. While people are calling for what they call clarity on rent certainty, if we interfere in the wrong way, we will make matters worse’. 

“Now in fairness, he has interfered in the market, but has not quite abandoned his ideological position. He has set aside the principle, but in an inadequate way, which to use his own words, has made matters worse. 

“The people he has made matters worse for are the 700,000 citizens in the private rented sector, who cannot afford the thousands of euros the government’s proposals will demand of them in rent hikes. The government’s plan fails these people. 

“So I would appeal to the Taoiseach now, to do the right thing and the proper thing and introduce rent certainty, not rent punishment and link rent increases to the Consumer Price Index. It’s the only solution that will adequately tackle the crisis.”

He added:

“The Minister said: ‘Really, we’re kind of putting a bridle on the horse that has been almost out of control for the last two years’. That describes it. It’s a ‘kind of’ a proposal. A ‘kind’ of a policy.” 

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