No confidence vote and homelessness

 

Sir, – Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has survived another no confidence motion in the Dáil despite figures released this week confirming a further increase in homelessness to 10,514 individuals (3,826 of which are children) – the ninth consecutive month that the figure has been in excess of the notionally significant threshold of 10,000 (Home News, December 4th).

The motion failed, as expected, as a result of Fianna Fáil’s abstention, but it’s notable that in the week preceding the vote, as well as in the debate in the chamber, there was little mention of Brexit; given that the UK is in the midst of their own general election and therefore negotiations with the EU are on hold, that hitherto credible rationale for Fianna Fáil’s enduring facilitation of the current Government has become less salient.

Instead, the arguments we have heard from that party have been along the lines of “the electorate won’t thank you for a Christmas election” – as though the prospect of the occasional knock on the door is so disruptive to people’s lives that no further explanation is required for continuing to support a housing policy that will see thousands spending the Christmas period in hotel rooms and B&Bs.

The media, too, has been found wanting this past week in not interrogating the flimsy excuses that Fianna Fáil provided for their abstention, as well as credulously regurgitating the Government’s claims about the Opposition not offering solutions. We heard many credible alternative policy proposals in the chamber on Tuesday night.

It’s true to say that there are a lot of people not relishing the prospect of putting down their turkey sandwiches for a Christmas general election campaign – but it’s not those in emergency accommodation. – Is mise,

DAVE McGINN,

Blessington, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The cynicism of Fianna Fáil with regard to the vote of confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy leaves me breathless. Its decision to abstain is purely one of self interest and only serves to further erode any respect which remains for members of the Oireachtas. – Yours, etc,

MARIE CLANCY,

Limerick.

Sir, – We don’t need a no confidence vote in Eoghan Murphy TD, we need one in relation to the Government’s housing policy. A recent survey shows Dublin is the worst city to move to for housing, and came last in a survey of 82 other cities. – Yours, etc,

BARRY ROONEY,

Ashford, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – How long have we been discussing the housing crisis? And the escalating homelessness situation? As the rich get richer, this elitist Government throws mere crumbs to those at the bottom of the ladder.

Isn’t it time for a serious review of the rental and housing market, which are out of control and very insecure for many. Isn’t it time for a change of leadership? – Yours, etc,

EMMA O’FRIEL,

Celbridge, Co Kildare