Housing Minister dishonestly presenting massive cuts as boost – Ellis

Sinn Fein Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis has condemned Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan for attempting to present massive cuts to housing as a boost by rearranging figures. He made his comments today as the Minister claimed to be investing an extra 32 million euro in housing despite cutting many times that figure from the housing budget in 2013.

Deputy Ellis said;

“This is a completely disingenuous statement from the Minister and I am very disappointed she would engage in this kind of misrepresentation.

“The housing budget is not being boosted, it is being cut left right and centre as housing need grows by the day. There are 111,145 applicants on the housing waiting lists of this state and the housing budget was cut by 15% in 2013. It has been slashed by nearly 1 billion euro since 2008.

“The state is providing less and less housing as need soars and becomes more and more severe. 266 homes is a drop in the ocean to what is needed or could have been provided had this government prioritised housing its people. Sinn Fein presented the Minister with a plan to for 9000 new homes last year which she ignored.

“The Minister also claims she will give a boost to housing for people with disabilities, this is hard to swallow in the year she cut funding for their adaptation grants by 40%. Dublin City Council last month had to close their adaptation scheme as they had already run out of the very limited funds provided.

“Housing is a right and this government and Minister O’Sullivan would do better to focus on how to uphold that right rather than fiddling figures in an attempt to hoodwink people”

Rent increase with no return: Ellis

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Dessie Ellis TD slammed plans to apply the new family home tax to local authority and voluntary housing which could see higher rents for struggling tenants.
Deputy Ellis continued:
“The plan to apply this unfair tax on houses in the social housing system makes no sense and is completely counterproductive.
“Social housing was cut in the budget as were supports which many tenants rely on. It has been a terrible budget for the poorest in our society and now many will face a rent increase with no return.
“Local authorities who were meant to gain from the tax will have to pay around €25 million. This makes no sense and will weaken local authorities and voluntary housing bodies and hurt their tenants.
“This is an unfair tax plan to begin with but it is an outrage that the government have not exempted social housing.
“Sinn Féin proposed a progressive wealth tax which would have avoided this problem. We will continue to fight the home tax for a genuine tax on wealth”