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Landlords should not become tax collectors for the state - Senator David Cullinane

19 November, 2014 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has said he is appalled by Minister Alan Kelly’s announcement that he will be introducing legislation allowing landlords to deduct water charges from a tenant’s deposit.  Speaking after the Minister announced his plans for Irish Water, Senator Cullinane said:

“I am utterly appalled at the Minister’s plans to give landlords the legal right to interfere with a tenants deposit and deduct water charges.

“Private landlords should not be involved in the collection of taxes for the state – this is a draconian and worrying step by the government.

“It is particularly bizarre considering that nationally we have 90,000 families on public housing lists and a huge dependence on the private rented sector for accommodation.

“Is Minister Kelly aware that this announcement will drive people further into poverty?

“His party colleague Joan Burton has already put a very regressive cap on rent supplement which has resulted in thousands of adults and children becoming homeless.

“Virtually all independent analysis of the housing crisis calls for increased state involvement in the provision of public housing and a complete overhaul of the private rental sector giving tenants significant rights in terms of occupancy and rent in keeping with best practice in other European countries.

“The notion that a Labour minister would seek to use private landlords to collect an unfair tax from vulnerable and financially strapped tenants is simply beyond belief.

“In the current crisis the state should be distancing itself from private landlords and not getting them to do their dirty work.

“Irish people have a long history with landlords, is this courtesy of Alan Kelly, to be the latest chapter.”

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