[Sinn Fein]

18th June 2003

Morgan - Tenants Bill fails to tackle issue of affordability

Speaking during the course of the debate on the Residential Tenancies Bill currently before the Dáil Sinn Fein spokesperson on Housing Arthur Morgan TD said the Bill did not ``tackle the fundamental issue of affordability'' and would ultimately fail in ``its own admirable intentions of addressing security of tenure''.

Deputy Morgan said: ``People in private rented accommodation will have gasped in disbelief that a piece of legislation brought forward to reform the private rented sector, does not tackle the fundamental issue of affordability.

``This is symptomatic of the Government's failure to tackle the crucial issues in relation to the housing crisis. We had a previous example of this when the Coalition Government buckled to pressure from developers in relation to Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000. Minister Cullen has now shown he has no backbone in tackling rack-renting landlords.

``Rent increases should be index linked and not market driven where demand far exceeds supply.

``This Bill will, by its failure to address rent regulation, defeat its own admirable intentions of addressing security of tenure. The limited security of tenure offered by this Bill will mean very little to a tenant who is faced with a succession of substantial annual rent increases.''

Deputy Morgan also questioned the Government's commitment to tackling tax evasion when it became clear in the Bill that the landlord registration would not be made available to the revenue commissioners. He said: ``One of the most striking disclosures in this Bill is the fact that it specifically states that the landlord register will not be made available to the revenue commissioners. This makes an absolute mockery of any claim by the Government that they are committed to tackling tax evasion.''

``To include in a piece of legislation, an element that is specifically designed to facilitate tax evasion is a disgrace,'' ENDS

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