We in Sinn Féin have been constantly raising with the Tánaiste and the Government the issue of sky-high, extortionate rents being paid by workers and families. The average rent in Dublin is now €1,745 a month, while the average across the State is in excess of €1,200. These rents are absolutely eye-watering, as is the €1 billion the State will pay to private landlords this year. Renters are paying nearly every cent they have just to keep a roof over their heads. They are effectively locked out of home ownership. How on earth can anybody save for a deposit when they have to pay €1,745 out of their wages every month? It is nothing but a vicious cycle.
Incredibly, the Government still refuses to intervene to cut rents and to prevent further increases. It needs to do the right thing. It needs to cut rents by putting one month's rent back into the pockets of renters through a tax refund and to legislate urgently to stop further rent hikes for the next three years. Will it do that?