Sinn Féin Dáil Deputy Leader Pearse Doherty TD has said that Fine Gael need to get their heads out of the sand and introduce a rent freeze to finally give workers and families a break.
Speaking at Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy Doherty said;
“Your Government housing plan Rebuilding Ireland is in its fourth year.
“Its results are stark; over 10,000 citizens are now homeless, a 67% increase. The number of homeless children has risen by 81 percent; nearly doubled.
“This is the new normal under Fine Gael in what is the fastest growing economy in Europe.
“Too many of our children our facing a Christmas they don’t deserve. Toddlers are unable to walk or crawl because of prolonged stays in emergency accommodation. Their development stunted and their futures stolen from them.
“Rents have risen by 40 percent since your Government took office in 2016. The average rent in Dublin now stands at over €2 thousand a month. In Cork it is over €1,300 a month.
“This has locked a generation of young people and young families into an out-of-control rental market. It is locking them out of any aspiration of ever owning their own home.
“The first duty of any decent society is to protect its children and to protect its vulnerable.
“Your Government have refused to take responsibility for your failure to deliver on housing.
“While failing to take responsibility for the housing crisis, you have failed to listen to alternative policies and solutions.
“Solutions put forward by Sinn Féin; we have repeatedly called for an immediate rent freeze in the private market.
“Only to be rejected by this Government and Fianna Fáil.
“These solutions would put a brake on an out of control rental market while giving renters the space to save and plan for the future.
“Something that under Fine Gael is beyond their grasp.
“It’s time for Fine Gael to get their heads out of the sand and to heed the solutions put forward by Sinn Féin and implement an immediate 3-year rent freeze.”