[Sinn Fein]

21 January 2002

Rent Increase Exploitative, Immoral and Wrong

Speaking before tonight's meeting of Cork City Council, Sinn Fein Councillor Jonathan O Brien, described the 16 % rent increase imposed on its tenants as exploitative, immoral and very wrong and should be withdrawn.

Jonathan O Brien said: " When the establishment parties - Labour, Fine Gael, the PDs, and Fianna Fail - passed the estimates imposing this inordinate rent increase on tenants of Cork City Council I pointed out that the Council was behaving in a manner befitting the worst private landlord. I therefore fully support tenants who are opposing the rent increase.

The actions of the Cork City Council are exploitative because it is making their tenants pay for it's own inefficiency. As I have already pointed out, if the Council were to make full use of its empty properties, then it could raise the extra income now being demanded from its tenants.

It is immoral because Cork City Council is abusing its position to raise funds from some of those least able to pay. For example pensioners who are tenants are being charged an extra 10 Euro out of the 12 Euro extra granted to them in the budget.

It is wrong because Cork City Council, as a landlord, does not provide a good service to its tenants. Cork City Council has one of the worst repair programmes in Ireland. Repairs are very difficult to get done and there are still some properties without hot water. Tenants in the Glen and Togher have no control over their own heating.

In the circumstances the rent increases are unjustified and must be withdrawn."ENDS

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