The people impacted by the mica scandal are outside the gates of Leinster House and have been every day for months. They are pursuing justice as their homes crumble around them. Yet, as often is the case, the Government's suggestions regarding a redress scheme were selectively leaked last night before the families involved even had sight of the working group report. That is completely unacceptable. Some families did not have a decent night's sleep last night because of worry about whether that leak was accurate and, if it was, what that might mean for them. These families must be treated with respect. Instead of leaks and speculation in the days to come, the Government must provide clarity, move swiftly and do the right thing in respect of 100% redress.
Tá costais chónaithe imithe ar fiáin, le costais fuinnimh, cúraim leanaí agus tithíochta á ardú achan lá. Bhí díomá orm agus mé ag léamh na tuairisce a d'fhoilsigh an Bord um Thionóntachtaí Cónaithe ar maidin. Ta boilsciú de os cionn 10% i naoi gcontae agus os cionn 4% in achan contae eile. Tá a fhios agam go gcreideann an Tánaiste gur cheart ioncam na dtiarnaí talún a chosaint thar chosaint a thabhairt dá dtionóntaí ach ní thig le hoibrithe agus le teaghlaigh mórán eile de seo a ghlacadh. Tá réiteach ann, réiteach a bhféadfaí a chur i gcrích sa bhuiséad i mbliana, is é sin cosc a chur ar ardú cíosa agus creidmheas cánach a thabhairt do thionóntaí le hairgead a choinneáil sna pócaí atá acu féin.
The cost of living crisis is out of control. Every day we see the costs of energy, fuel, childcare and housing go up. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the rental market. This was laid bare in the rental report for quarter 2 published this morning by the Residential Tenancies Board, RTB. Its findings are some of the grimmest for some time. It will cause further concern and anxiety to renters and those stuck in the rental market. Nine counties have experienced double-digit inflation in the cost of rent. All other counties have seen inflation of over 4%, with many approaching 10%. Despite all the lofty and ill-thought-out pronouncements from the Government about budget day spending, the fact remains that the Tánaiste's Government has no plan to put a halt to these runaway rents. That is the reality.
I know the Tánaiste believes that landlords should be prioritised above, and that their incomes are more important than, renters being able to have a decent life, but I do not think even he could deny renters are being fleeced and landlords are milking this situation, based on the figures published by the RTB. Runaway rents must stop. They must be halted, and the choice lies with the Tánaiste and his Government. The budget is just two weeks away. Renters must be given a guarantee their rents are not going to increase in the coming years. In fact, they need their rents to decrease. Therefore, if this Government is serious about protecting renters, it would ban rent increases for three years for all new and existing tenancies. What the Government should do in the budget, and I am asking if it will do this, is to introduce a refundable tax credit for renters that will reduce the cost of rent and put a month's rent back into the pockets of workers and families living in rented accommodation.