Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that Micheál Martin is in denial on crisis rents and their impact on an entire generation locked-out of home ownership.
Speaking at Leaders’ Questions today, Teachta McDonald urged the Taoiseach to work with all parties in the Dáil to cut rents and ban rent increases.
However, the Sinn Féin President criticised Mr Martin’s response as being gravely out-of-touch with the reality facing thousands of hard-pressed workers and families.
Teachta McDonald said:
“I asked the Taoiseach to work to ensure that rents are cut and rent increases are banned. The Taoiseach’s evasive replies would have you believe that we don’t have a rent crisis. He doesn’t seem to believe that rents are too high or that government needs to take urgent action.
“The reality of course is very different. A generation are being crucified by extortionate rents and this is one of the reasons they are locked out of home ownership. How can they save for mortgage deposit when their rent is €2000 a month? It’s impossible but the Taoiseach doesn’t get it.
“Instead his answer is to continue following the same developer-led policies that created the housing crisis in the first place – to continue building houses that ordinary working people have no chance of affording. To continue to ignore off-the-wall rents.
“The sad thing is that doesn’t have to be this way. We can fix housing. We can bring this crisis to an end. We can give generation rent the break they deserve and lift them out of the trap. But for that to happen we need a strong government that is prepared to turn away from the failed policies of the past and act in the interests of those in housing need.”