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Taoiseach dodges questions while 48,000 wait for social housing

29 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, during Leaders Questions today, asked the Taoiseach if the Government will accept and implement a recommendation from the National Economic and Social Council that there be an increase in permanent social housing units, owned and managed by local authorities, of the order of some 73,000 units between 2005 and 2012. Deputy Ó Caoláin pointed out that there has been no provision for a debate in the Dáil on the report.

Speaking today he said, "There has been no debate in this House on the report from the National Economic and Social Council, entitled 'Housing in Ireland: Performance and Policy', which was published six months ago. I am not aware of any response from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to the recommendations of the NESC report. The report cites evidence from other states showing that only through increased social housing provision can the housing crisis in this State be seriously tackled and also the terrible tragedy of homelessness for so many.

"Based on all of this I asked the Taoiseach today if the Government plans to accept and implement the recommendations made in this report. Unfortunately the Taoiseach managed to avoid the question by referring to a building programme that includes private building, which is at an unprecedented level. The Taoiseach completely failed to address the focus of my question and I find this totally unacceptable not only to me but also to the 48,000 households on the housing waiting list." ENDS

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