‘Epic, shocking failure’: Government must fix teacher supply crisis, says Opposition

Housing crisis ‘blighting the lives of tens of thousands of people of this country’

The government has been told it must tackle a “crisis” in teacher supply and address its “epic, shocking failure” in housing.

Opposition parties criticised the government’s track record on teacher supply and housing during media appearances on Tuesday morning.

Solidarity People Before Profit TD for Dun Laoighaire Richard Boyd Barrett attacked the government following the publication of a report by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) which showed that rents had risen faster in Ireland than elsewhere in the European Union over the last 12 years.

It showed that rents have grown by 82 per cent on average over the period, compared to an average of 18 per cent.

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Mr Boyd Barrett said the report was “the latest evidence of the absoultely epic, shocking failure of the government to address the housing crisis that is blighting the lives of tens of thousands of people of this country”.

“Clearly what we are seeing is a catastrophic market failure,” he said, adding that the Government had depended too much on the private sector, while arguing that local authorities were failing to deliver social and affordable homes.

“This really reveals the big lie that the government have been telling people, that they are ramping up the delivery of housing. The truth is, in the epicentres of the housing crisis… local authorities built nothing at all in the first half of this year.”

He called on people to attend a cost of living coalition demonstration on 17th December, timed to coincide with what he said was the “coronation” of the new Taoiseach. His party colleague, Cork North Central TD Mick Barry, said that on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the state “once again now we have the starting up of the mass emigration of young people”, who were being forced to leave due to the housing crisis.

Speaking with reporters later in the morning, Social Democrats education spokesman, Dublin Central TD Gary Gannon, said there was a “crisis” in teacher supply, with school principals telling him that it was difficult to keep some classes operating.

“It is a crisis that demands immediate action, requires leadership. The students who are suffering are the same students who suffered through the pandemic.” His party colleague, Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore, said there were “tweaks” that could be made to improve the situation.

“If you’re a school in Wicklow, you can’t access a supply panel in Wexford even if you’re just on the border,” she said.

“There are tweaks that can be made which can actually help schools”

She also criticised government for what she said was an “overoptimism… as to what can be achieved from renewable energy.”

“We need government to step away from big promises and move into delivery,” she said.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times