Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 12 December 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
Update on Rebuilding Ireland: Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government
There were a lot of problems with that Bill, and I outlined them in the Dáil at the time. If it reaches Committee Stage, I will outline them then too. Nothing has stopped a good idea from making it through the House. Let us be fair to ourselves. When we introduced the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 earlier in the year, positive proposals made by Deputies on all sides of the House were supported and introduced. The regulation of the approved housing body sector, which is incredibly important given the thousands of homes it is building and tenanting on behalf of the State, moved very quickly because good ideas were accepted and carried through. That is how we do our best work. It is not when we are standing up in the Dáil and shouting at each other or causing friction over what might be seen as petty squabbles in the Dáil Chamber or in the committees. It is when we come together on legislation, make it work, get it done and implement it. That is when we are at our best. We have done that in several instances with Rebuilding Ireland. We lose sight of that.
It goes back to something that Senator Kelleher was saying earlier on. People glibly say that nothing is happening and nothing is being done. I see it written in the papers and I hear it in the Dáil. If we keep on saying that despite the evidence of progress in several key areas, the public will lose faith in all of us very quickly. It is not true to say that nothing is being done or that everything is happening as quickly as we want and going perfectly. I was not the first to say that. Someone from one of the NGOs, perhaps Focus Ireland, said it. We need to acknowledge where progress is being made and where more progress can be made. We need to find solutions that we can all agree on and that can make it out of these Houses into the real world without doing more harm than good.