Thursday, 12 May 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Pearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
How long has the Tánaiste been in government now? Is it ten or 11 years? Over that period when the Tánaiste has been sitting around the Cabinet table we have seen rents double. He was tweeting two years ago about how Government policies were working. He tweeted:
Rents down, homelessness down, house prices levelling off. Our policies are working.
Let me put some facts to the Tánaiste; not Sinn Féin's facts but the facts of the Central Statistics Office, CSO. In the last year rents have gone up for new and existing tenancies by 9.3%. Housing prices have gone up by 15% in the last year. In the last two years the number of people in homelessness has increased by 15%. On any viewing of those numbers, the Government's policies are failing.
We have warned time and time again, as have some within the Department and other external agencies, that the initiatives the Government is bringing in will increase house prices and push up rents further. This hare-brained idea the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has and which the Tánaiste obviously supports will give away €144,000 of taxpayers' money to developers to build apartments while ordinary workers and families will be asked to fork out between €500,000 and €600,000 for those same apartments. How can the Tánaiste stand over such a hare-brained scheme?