Young people should not be going hungry to pay rent

16 June 2018

Commenting on the findings of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Housing survey, Labour Party Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan has said that the Government urgently needs to link rent to the cost of living and extend the rent pressure zones nationwide.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“The findings of the ICTU survey are stark and paint a bleak picture of what it is like to rent when you are under the age of thirty-five in Ireland.

“Shockingly, the survey shows that over half the respondents have had to borrow or sacrifice a basic need such as food in order to pay their rents. 

“With young people living in an age where precarious and insecure work is becoming the norm, it is no surprise that they are really struggling to make ends meet when it comes to housing.

“This week, we have had the Taoiseach threatening to allow an election to take place over the Housing Minister’s record. An election will do nothing to solve the housing crisis and ease the burdens of renters. 

“Instead of engaging in tit for tat debates on housing with Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, the Taoiseach and Minister Murphy, would be better placed to fast-tracking Labour Party proposals that they have accepted through the Greater Security of Tenure and Rent Certainty Bill, to extend the rent pressure zones nationwide.

“The rate of rent increases is completely out of control with no reference towards affordability, salaries or the inflation rate in the economy as a whole.

“This Government needs to take a reality check and wake up to the fact that thousands and thousands of young citizens are frightened that they will be the next to be faced with homelessness. Their ideological objection to intervening in the market can no longer be maintained.”

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