Thursday, 30th March 2017
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Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on the government to introduce real rent certainty in Waterford as a matter of urgency.

The Ireland South MEP made the call as a new report from Daft.ie showed rent inflation for the end of 2016 to be at its highest level in at least 15 years.

"The figures released in the Daft.ie rent inflation study expose just how woefully inadequate Fine Gael and Fianna Fail's rent certainty cop out legislation was," she said.

"We now have a situation, right across the country, where people lucky enough to find themselves in employment will be working full time just to pay the rent. When you add this to the ever increasing cost of living, with everything from education to car insurance becoming increasingly unaffordable, it paints a pretty bleak picture for low and middle income families.

"This is a totally unacceptable situation and the worst part is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

"Sinn Féin TDs have tabled a number of bills which would link rent increases with inflation, yet these have been voted down time and time again by both the government and Fianna Fáil. Instead, the government, enabled by Fianna Fáil, gifted landlords with a 4% year on year rent increase for the next three years. And even this only applied to certain areas.

"Waterford saw and average increase of 10.7% with the city also experiencing a rise of 10.7% bringing the average rent there to €745. What this means in real terms is hundreds of euros out of the pockets of already struggling families and they can look forward to further increases as landlords push up rents in response to Fianna Fail and Fine Gael's bizarre piecemeal approach to their already inadequate rent cap.

"The government's spineless and mealy-mouthed approach to the crisis in the rental sector will only lead to more pressure on struggling renters, will lock low income earners out of the rental market, will increase the levels of working poor we have and push more families into poverty and homelessness."

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