Fianna Fáil First Time General Election Candidate Cllr Pat Casey has stated that the housing and homelessness crisis needs a unified and immediate response by all levels of Government.
“After five years of complete inaction the Government has finally admitted that it has got it wrong on housing. Fine Gael Minister Paudie Coffey declared that we are in the midst of a housing emergency, despite successive Ministers trying to downplay the issue for the last five years.”
“Fine Gael and Labour need to take responsibility for their appalling legacy on housing. The decisions they took, such as reducing the Part V social housing development obligation has given rise to this emergency. The end result is that families are being forced out of their homes right now in Wicklow”
Cllr Casey commented that “Watching the documentary on RTE on Monday last was very difficult and I know from working as a Wicklow Cllr the unjustifiable situation that people are experiencing. All pubic reps from every party and none must work together on this.”
“It’s sad to see that the Government has essentially thrown in the towel when it comes to dealing with this emergency. Minister Howlin declared this morning that it is a matter for the next Government. This defeatist attitude demonstrates why we need to get Fine Gael and Labour out of Government.
“Fianna Fáil has put forward significant housing proposals aimed at ensuring every family has a place they can call home. At our Ard Fheis we committed to ensuring that there would be a 50 – 50 split between private and social housing for the 20,000 homes NAMA is due to build. This is in stark contrast to the measly 10% allocation that the current Government has committed to,” said Cllr Casey.
“The Deprivation rate has doubled since 2008 from 13.7% to 29.0% while the number of people in consistent poverty has increased from 4.2% in 2008 to 8.0%. The cumulative impact of their measures has created real hardship for a large proportion of Irish society. What we now have is a two tier recovery that is building towards a two tier society.”
“We all know about the disgraceful number of children living in temporary accommodation, but what is not as well known is that the number of children now in consistent poverty has grown to 11.2%. This equates to 1 in 9 children. In 2008 the rate was 6.3%. Furthermore, the number of children experiencing deprivation has almost trebled since Fine Gael/Labour took office. The Deprivation rate is 36.1% up from 13.5% in 2008.”
Cllr Casey concluded “In Government Fianna Fáil have always worked to protect and insulate those on the lowest incomes and if elected we will ensure that people in poverty and those on the lowest incomes are not side-lined in the economic recovery. We will reverse changes made to the one parent family payment, increase pensions, restore the housing adaptation grant and have a Minister at the cabinet table with responsibility for disability. These are just a few of the measures that we will introduce to ensure that the Ireland of 2016 is an Ireland for All.”