Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (117)

Alan Farrell


117. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will consider the implementation of a poverty impact assessment to assess the impact of the revised rent supplement limits announced in June 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44934/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source. There are currently over 82,000 rent supplement recipients for which the Government has provided over €403 million for 2013. New revised rent limits came into force on Monday 17 June 2013 and will be in place until 31 December 2014.

The new rent limits were determined following an extensive review of the private rental market which showed rising rents for urban centres, particularly Dublin and Galway and reduction in rents for the majority of counties. The new limits continue to ensure that value for money is achieved while, at the same time, people on rent supplement are not priced out of the market for private rented accommodation. The purpose of rent limits is to provide adequate access to accommodation for rent supplement tenants, while paying a minimum contribution. Where rent limits have fallen, this is due to the local rental market's supply and demand conditions which set the local pricing levels of rental property in the respective area.

Officials in the Department continue to examine the impact of the rent limits on those who claim rent supplement and ensure that their accommodation needs are met. Accordingly it is not proposed to conduct a poverty impact assessment.