Thursday, 22 September 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Richard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
According to the CSO, approximately 54,000 people left this country last year. I suspect we will see those numbers rise. It is true that marginally more came in but that is still a significant outflow of people. It was not my opinion I was sharing. I was sharing the opinion of the young students I was talking to yesterday in UCD. I met a group of postgraduate students who said they have to exist on miserable stipends, which makes it difficult for them to conclude their doctoral studies. There is a problem. Young people, in increasing numbers, feel they have to leave because that generation has been locked out, crucially, from the ability to buy a home or afford rent. They are faced with the disastrous housing crisis that the Government has failed to deal with, while REITs and property vultures have seen their profits triple. Corporate profits have also tripled. Old people are frightened as we face into the winter. That is why they will be out on the streets. We will see at the weekend whether this is my opinion or the opinion of many tens of thousands. What is the Government going to do to assure those people that there will be a future of affordable houses and rents and that they will be protected against the profiteering of energy companies and property vultures?