Another damning report shows again how Government are failing renters in Laois

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Speaking after the release of a Daft report showing that the average rent in Laois is now  €1,146 up by 11.3% from the end of 2020 and a mammoth 117.4% increase in the last decade, Laois Labour Representative Eoin Barry said that rent pressure zone legislation is not worth the paper it is written on.  

“It is clear from these figures that there are widespread breaches of rent pressure zones which are unfit for purpose. Rents in Laois are soaring, renters cannot save for a deposit for a house and are trapped paying through the teeth just to keep a roof over their heads. It is not affordable to working people and the Government needs to grab the bull by the horns and introduce an immediate rent freeze and until they do nothing will change in our dysfunctional, dystopian housing market. 

“The average rent in Laois for a one-bedroom apartment has risen by 9.1% to €775, a two bedroom house has risen by 8.7% to €927 and a three bedroom house has risen by 9.6% to €1,058 in the last quarter of 2021. That is simply not sustainable.

“We need a rent freeze until supply catches up with demand. There were just 286 homes available to rent in Leinster (outside Dublin) on February 1st of this year. That is completely unsustainable. 

“High rents along with the rising cost of living will put increasing pressure on families. 

“Security of tenure is also a huge issue for renters and we know that renters in the private rented market are most at risk of entering homelessness. The Government has consistently failed to act to protect renters. The figures show that there is widespread disregard for the rent pressure zone legislation but yet the Government will not act on this.

“The affordability gap in the market needs to be bridged with greater investment by the State in cost rental accommodation. The government must commit to increasing its cost rental targets to deliver affordable rental homes taking account of the true reality of what is needed.

Government must act on Labour Cost of Living Plan

  • Action not words needed to fix cost of living crisis

After voting down Labour’s plan to tackle the cost of living, Labour Area Rep Eoin Barry said the government must take real action now and act with a VAT cut on energy and fuel, along with increases to wages and social welfare payments.

Mr Barry said:

“After voting down in the Dáil Labour’s plan to tackle the rising cost of living at the end of January, the government are now making a massive U-turn but we need action now and not just more words.

“They’ve finally woken up to the soaring cost of living which is good, but ordinary workers and families can’t afford more piecemeal measures. The €100 off electricity bills doesn’t go any way far enough when energy bills are up by a third.

“Labour put forward a comprehensive plan to tackle rising prices. Grocery bills are through the roof, rent is at record levels and the cost of filing up is putting real pressure on family budgets.

“Without action by the government to cut VAT on energy and fuel, and pay increases, ordinary working people will lose out.

“Those on pensions know only too well the real risk of out of control inflation and the impact this can have peoples lives. 

“Last October Labour also called for a major expansion of eligibility in the fuel allowance. Only now are the government waking up to the crisis facing those on fixed incomes. The budget increases to the minimum wage and social welfare payments have already been eaten up by inflation, so they must be addressed now with increases that match the rise in the cost of living.

“When inflation increases, it hits those on the low and fixed incomes the hardest because they spend more of their wages on food and energy.”