Budget 2014: Government spinning while slashing housing further - Ellis
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has condemned the governments new budget for the coming year as another attack on the vulnerable which further slashes the housing budget. He made his comments in light of an overall 10% cut in housing funding in the 2014 budget in addition to a 15% cut the previous year.
Deputy Ellis said;
"This government in its 2014 budget has continued to try to misrepresent cuts as spending boosts. They are attempting to fool the Irish people hoping to be patted on the back for crumbs offered as they slash vital services.
Housing needs real investment. It has been cut by 1 billion euro in the last 5 years. There are 112,000 people on housing waiting lists and homelessness is at an all-time high.
“The government since taking office has successively cut spending on housing. The development of new housing has ground to a virtual halt, Rent Supplement has been cut and RAS accommodation is getting harder to find as rents rise due to shortage.
“The government are claiming they are investing 30 million euro in house building but this is in the context of an overall cut to housing of 10% which represents 58 million euro. This is money which is needed not just to build new homes but to maintain crumbling social housing already in place. It is a distortion to pretend they are investing money in housing when they are simply attempting to be seen to be doing something.
“The government are not interested in providing actual housing but continually restating the small promises of housing as yet undelivered and moving funding around to cover up their cuts. The massive shortage in affordable, appropriate housing will not be solved with empty rhetoric or headline grabbing gimmicks which do nothing for the people who are suffering in overcrowded, unsafe and insecure housing every day.
“The government desire to spin a cut as a boost in this case is an insult to these people and the Irish people as a whole."