Savage cuts to Traveller Accommodation Budget must be restored – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has welcomed the publication of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management’s fire safety audit on traveller accommodation. However, the report must be viewed in light of the savage cuts made to funding for Traveller accommodation, which since 2008 has been cut by 88% from €40m down to €4.3m in 2015.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The publication of this report is welcome as it identifies actions that need to be taken to enhance fire safety in local authority provided traveller accommodation and who is responsible for said actions.
“However, all of this must be viewed in light of the broader issue of the continued existence of sub-standard accommodation. A lot of traveller families live in overcrowded and inadequate living conditions across the state. A fact which is highlighted by the fact that in the report separation distances between Traveller accommodation units was identified as an issue of concern in 57% of the sites evaluated.
“The provision of suitable Traveller accommodation with the required facilities is a key responsibility for local authorities under the Government’s Traveller Accommodation Programmes. However, successive years of savage cuts to traveller accommodation budgets by central government have not made this easy to implement. The government must to outline how and when it intends to restore traveller accommodation funding to pre-2008 levels.”