With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 30 together.
In so far as the second of these questions relates to the protection of the occupiers of rented accommodation other than those to whom the relevant legislation has applied down the years, the position is as the Minister indicated in reply to a Dáil question on 13 November last. On that occasion he said that the Minister for the Environment expected shortly to be in a position to make a submission to the Government in regard to the várious issues arising in relation to private rented accommodation including the working of the Rent Restrictions Acts, 1960 and 1967. I am not in a position to add anything to that statement at this stage and it may be that any further statement in that regard will be made by the Minister for the Environment rather than by me.
In so far as the second question relates to accommodation which has been the subject of statutory control, it covers the same ground as the question asked by Deputy O'Brien. The position in this regard is, as Deputies are aware, that the High Court recently decided that certain provisions of the Rent Restrictions Acts are unconstitutional. I understand that the question of an appeal to the Supreme Court is under consideration. In the circumstances, I cannot make any further statement in the matter except to say that Deputies will no doubt appreciate that, when the question of the constitutionality of an Act of the Oireachtas is involved in this way, it would clearly be inappropriate to discuss the question of amending legislation until such time as a final judgment—be that a High Court judgment or a Supreme Court judgment on appeal—has become available and has been fully considered.