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”

Rural transport services to be protected


Sinn Féin deputies Dessie Ellis and Michael Colreavy today met with representatives of the National Transport Authority at the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications on the issue of restructuring plans for the Rural Transport Programme.

Speaking following the meeting Deputy Ellis said:

“Funding needs to be ensured for rural transport for the services to be properly utilised by the community. If there are savings to be made it must be at an administrative level and there must not be a cut to the direct provision of services.

“Those who currently run the rural transport services deserve praise fSor the work that they do and the dedication of local people has been an essential factor for these services over the years.

“I also welcome that there will be proper regulation of the rural hackney scheme, where there will be no displacement of other operators and community agreement will be sought.”

Commenting after the meeting Deputy Colreavy said:

“Rural transport is a major issue for many communities, especially those in the north-west region.

“Isolation in rural areas can be a major problem and often the rural transport services are the only means some people have of getting from one place to another.

“It is essential that the National Transport Authority ensures that services are maintained in rural areas and that communities do not suffer from cutbacks.”