Thursday, 22 September 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Pearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
We have been having this conversation now for years and I feel that at some stage the penny might drop because every year we see all the statistics go in the wrong direction. When new rents are going up by 9.2% a year and house prices are going up by 14%, how far does rent have to go before the Tánaiste starts to realise the Government’s policies are actually contributing to this problem in the first instance? He talks about social housing, on which the Government will not meet its own targets. He talks about cost-rental housing, on which the Government is only delivering 300 units and is not meeting its targets either. Moreover, these are low targets that are inadequate given what is needed.
Sinn Féin puts forward proposals year after year that will actually help renters. Renters are paying nearly €1,500 more than they were last year and before that, they were paying more than they paid the year before that, and the same in the years before that. There are so many people are locked into a situation and do not know how they will get out of it. The other arm of Government policy means house prices are being pushed up beyond the Celtic tiger peak. There is a very simple proposal that we have been calling on the Government to introduce, and that is a refundable tax credit equivalent to a month’s rent of up to €1,500-----