A local TD has said the government's recent cost of living package missed renters and rural dwellers.
Laois/Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley was speaking in the Dáil on a Sinn Féin motion to disincentivise investors from bulk purchasing new homes to the exclusion of ordinary families.
Deputy Stanley told the Dáil: “The reality is that thousands of workers are trapped in private rented accommodation with spiralling rents and no hope of ever getting a mortgage or securing a permanent roof over their heads.
“Figures released on daft.ie last week revealed that rents in County Laois went up by 11.3% in 12 months while in County Offaly, they went up by a whopping 14.6%. The average purchase cost of a home in 2021 was €225,000.
“The Government has completely abandoned renters and workers earning in the category of €18,000 to €60,000 in terms of either being able to buy a home or rent one with secure tenure tenancies.
“The Government's budget and recent announcement delivered no solutions to these housing problems. It has failed renters and rural dwellers.
“Sinn Féin has long called for an immediate rent freeze, which we would introduce, and provide renters with a tax rebate to the value of one month. Give the renters a break. Do not give it to the institutional investors.
“Why not give it to our own people who are absolutely nailed to the wall every week and month trying to figure out where they will get the rent? Give them a modest tax break of one month's rent back every year. Workers and families need that break. These two measures would provide some relief but also would help renters to save for a deposit.
“Our proposal this evening also calls for an increase in stamp duty and to take away the incentives for these vulture funds to bulk buy homes that ordinary families and couples need. End their tax breaks.
“Workers and families in rural Ireland are also facing huge energy costs and the measures the Minister brought in last week did not address this. All they are facing is more carbon tax increases in areas where there is not public transport. The Government has really and truly done nothing to address the situation for renters and rural dwellers.”
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