Confidence and supply leaves children homeless, says Pearse Doherty

Tanáiste defends deal and says rent pressure controls ‘slowing’ rate of rental increases

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty: Fine Gael’s “scandalous record on housing” is being endorsed by Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty: Fine Gael’s “scandalous record on housing” is being endorsed by Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

The Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil confidence-and-supply agreement has left 4,000 children in emergency accommodation for the third Christmas in a row, Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty has said.

Decrying the extended deal, Mr Doherty described it as “a political con job designed to allow Fianna Fáil the pretence of being in opposition while it is actually in government in all but name”.

Citing the latest rental figures, which show that the average Dublin rent is now €1,620 a month, the Sinn Féin TD said FG’s “scandalous record on housing” is being endorsed by FF.

Not a single affordable home had been delivered in the last three years, he said. The real number of homeless is closer to 13,000 than 10,000 and landlords getting tax reliefs should not be allowed to evict tenants, he said.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the Government is meeting five-year housing targets, though he acknowledged that too many families depend on emergency accommodation: “We are working night and day to change this,” he said.

Rent curbs are working, he said, saying that the latest Residential Tenancies Board report shows that rent pressure controls are “slowing the rate of increase”.

However, this was dismissed by the Sinn Féin Donegal TD, who replied: “No, they are not. We have the highest rent increases in Dublin since 2015: 9.5 per cent.”