Government needs to get the finger out and act on behalf of struggling renters - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has warned that "the government needs to get the finger out and act on behalf of struggling renters."
She said that Taoiseach Micheál Martin is out of touch with the reality of tenants who could face what she described as a "double whammy" rent increase of 8% when the government removes protections in July.
Teachta McDonald said that the Taoiseach must now follow through on the commitment he gave today on the floor of the Dáil that the government will bring forward a measure to prevent the 8% increase. She said that the government must also introduce legislation to prevent rent increases for three years and reinstate the eviction ban until the end of the year at least.
Teachta McDonald said:
"I put it to the Taoiseach that there is a need for the government to act urgently to protect renters from what will be a massive hit. They are already being fleeced by extortionate rents. Another hike would be unbearable. It would break the back of so many workers and families who are struggling with the economic impact of the pandemic.
"The Taoiseach's response was in line with the anemic approach for his government on the rent crisis. It is like he believes that it is a figment of people's imaginations.
"He doesn't seem to accept that rents are extortionate or that renters are being ripped-off or that a whole generation is afraid of not making their rent, and losing the roof over their head. He doesn't get that a whole generation is locked out of home ownership.
"This government has no problem supporting institutional investors and big private investment funds. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael make sure they are okay. But meanwhile they leave struggling renters in the lurch.
"Under pressure from the opposition, the Taoiseach said the government will bring forward a measure to prevent the double-whammy rent hike.
"We need to see that happen quickly. But crucially the government must also introduce legislation to prevent rent increases for three years and reinstate the ban on evictions until the end of the year at least.
"This government needs to get the finger out and show up for hard-pressed renters."