Taoiseach’s ‘Republic of opportunity’ is nothing but a dupe – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Raising the findings of two housing reports published today by Daft.ie and the ESRI with An Taoiseach during Leaders Questions Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on Leo Varadkar to urgently introduce a new affordable housing scheme and legislation to deliver real rent certainty as provided for in the party’s fully costed alternative budget for 2018.

Speaking in the Dáil, the Dublin Central TD said;

“Two reports published this morning confirm the people have known for quite some time. The Government’s housing policy is a catastrophic failure.

“The overriding message of the reports from Daft.ie and the ESRI is that accommodation has become unaffordable and supply is at an all-time low. As things stand, renting or buying a home is now beyond the reach of an entire generation.

“Rather than delivering opportunity, Fine Gael’s housing crisis has delivered extreme stress, depression and hopelessness for thousands of citizens. These are people who work hard, who aspire to a better life – all the things that An Taoiseach so earnestly praises and yet for them there is very little reward.

“Ten years ago, a couple would make sacrifices in their daily lives to save for a home. Today couples are making the exact same sacrifices simply to make the extortionate rent at the end of each month, if they are lucky.

“For lots of people in their late twenties to mid-thirties, even the idea of starting a family now falls into the bracket of unaffordability. These are the very real human consequences for those struggling to get on the property ladder or struggling to pay the rent.

“The Taoiseach’s ‘Republic of opportunity’ is nothing but a dupe. It’s time this Government changed track.

“Instead of attempting to normalise homelessness in this state with crude statistical exercises, the Taoiseach should demonstrate real leadership by implementing policies that will actually work.

“Government can and must increase the supply of affordable housing and introduce measures to reduce the cost of purchasing and renting a home. Affordable housing means properties at a sale price of between €160,000 and €260,000 in Dublin.

“Sinn Féin proposed costed, deliverable solutions in our alternative budget for 2018. Today I called on the Taoiseach to follow Sinn Féin’s lead by committing to introduce a new affordable housing scheme that delivers homes on a level that matches the scale of this crisis and legislation that will deliver real rent certainty by linking increases to the cost of living.”