Sinn Fein Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the government to shield those in receipt of rent supplement from any further cuts and to protect those who are at threat of losing their homes due to cuts already imposed by the Fine Gael and Labour coalition. He made his comments following the publication of a report by Focus Ireland on the Rent Supplement scheme.
“The report says that by cutting rent supplement the government were seeking to use it to lower rents generally. Not only is this ethically wrong, playing with the lives of thousands of people on the scheme but it is also a completely wrong policy which has been shown not to work and ignores the reason for higher rents.
“People who were struggling before on rent supplement, are now fearful of losing their homes thanks to government cuts to the scheme. Quite a few already have and are now struggling to find alternative accommodation based on the reduced supplement.
“The government has cut and cut again from the most vulnerable and this cannot continue.
“They must assure people that rent supplement will not be cut in this budget, they must row back on previous cuts and put in place measures which make it easier for people to find accommodation which will take rent supplement and at reasonable rates.
“This should include direct dealings by the state with landlords to secure value for money and good quality accommodation for tenants.”