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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 21 May 1969

Vol. 240 No. 10

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ballymun (Dublin) Differential Rents.


asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware that the tenants of Ballymun houses and flats who are paying differential rents are objecting to the corporation taking into account the few hours overtime worked by some tenants; and that they are anxious that only the basic wage should be considered; and if he will consider bringing the matter to the notice of the city manager with a view to eliminating the overtime charge.

I am not so aware.

Any alteration in the existing method of assesing rent under a differential rent scheme is a matter in the first instance for the local authority who must take into account the consequential loss which would have to be met by other tenants and ratepayers, many of whom have lower incomes than the recipients of overtime payments. In Dublin city this loss would be additional to the £3,750,000, approximately, which will be paid in 1969-70 by ratepayers and taxpayers to keep down the rents of local authority houses.

Sure, there is no local authority there now. It is the Minister's own nominee.

And the work can be done more expeditiously.

Why does the Minister not whisper into his ear and get this done so?

Arising out of the Minister's reply, all I ask the Minister to do is not to permit the few extra hours work to be taken into consideration.

Has the Deputy a question?

Yes, Sir. Is the Minister aware that I am concerned only with the workers in Ballymun who do a few extra hours work and those few hours are taken into consideration in calculating the rents? I am most anxious that the Minister would deal only with the basic salary or wage. Furthermore, is the Minister aware that this is now in my new constituency?

As I said, this is a matter for the local authority and any proposals in this regard must be initiated by the local authority. My only function in the matter is to sanction, or not sanction, schemes put forward by the local authority. As the Deputy knows, when the proposed differential rents scheme was put forward by this particular local authority I had to secure its amendment in certain respects in relief of deserving tenants.

Is the Minister aware that most of these people who work overtime do so for a specific reason? They do so in order to get enough money together to clothe their children for Confirmation or First Holy Communion or in order to be able to save something for Christmas. Would the Minister not consider recommending to the local authority that the few hours overtime they work should not be taken into consideration when calculating the rents?

Is it not a fact that when the democratically elected Dublin Corporation was in existence, before it was so cruelly done to death by the Minister, a proposal along these lines was, in fact, put up as a result of a unanimous vote of the housing committee of the corporation? I should like to know if, in fact, the Minister has not had long before now representations from the city manager on this matter of overtime and the desirability of not taking overtime into account in the assessment of differential rents?

No, that is not the fact. The fact is that the proposals put forward by the Coalition dominated local authority were much more severe.

Is that what the Minister calls Mr. Garvin?

No. These proposals were put forward by the Coalition dominated local authority which reneged on its undertaking to the citizens of Dublin. When they put forward a scheme it was much more severe than the scheme I ultimately sanctioned.

That is totally untrue.

That is correct.

That is untrue.

I had to indicate to the body that I was not prepared to approve of some of the provisions in the scheme that Deputy Dunne and his colleagues sent forward.

When the Minister will not do it for Deputies like "Des" and "Paddy" he will hardly do it for anyone else.

There is a much better prospect of getting an acceptable scheme now. The people who should have done it reneged on their responsibility.


Order. Question No. 14.