Kelly and Noonan have ‘productive’ talks on rental measures

Department of Finance opposes move linking rent levels to the Consumer Price Index

There are rising expectations that the impasse between Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (right) and Minister for Environment Alan Kelly over rent certainty can be resolved this week following a ‘productive’ meeting between the two on Monday.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times.

There are rising expectations that the impasse between Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (right) and Minister for Environment Alan Kelly over rent certainty can be resolved this week following a ‘productive’ meeting between the two on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times.

 

Hope is rising that the impasse between Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Environment Alan Kelly over rent certainty can be resolved this week following a “productive” meeting between the two on Monday.

The Coalition colleagues met for an hour in Government Buildings ahead of a Cabinet subcommittee meeting on housing and homelessness.

Government spokespeople said the meeting was “very productive” and considerable progress was made in efforts to bridge the gap between their positions.

Mr Kelly has argued variously for some form of rent control or alternatively for rent certainty measures. These steps, he has said, would provide a means of addressing the big challenge presented by a fluctuating and rising rent market that has left families homeless.

Mr Noonan’s department has opposed intervention in the market and is said not to favour any move that would see rent levels being pegged to the Consumer Price Index.

However, there is agreement between the two that a package of measures is necessary to remove volatility from the market and to bring greater certainty to tenants.

It was confirmed on Monday night that the issue will not be brought to Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting but may be brought to next week’s Government meeting if a solution is found.

Mr Kelly has criticised some Fine Gael figures and has suggested a “cowardly” approach was being taken to the issue by some. However, sources on Monday said suggestions of a “personality clash” between him and Mr Noonan were wide of the mark.

Tánaiste Joan Burton on Monday night said Mr Noonan and Mr Kelly had a “very productive meeting at which great progress was made on a number of the issues”.

She also outlined what had happened at the Cabinet subcommittee on housing and homelessness.

“We were briefed extensively by Dublin City Council and people who are dealing specifically with homelessness. As a Government we have all the structures in place to ensure that nobody that is sleeping rough over Christmas will not have a roof over their head,” she said.