MINISTERS ARE LANDLORDS: so can they really understand how tenants feel? asks Cork opposition TD

15 February 2018
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry this morning said that no Cabinet was ever likely to sign off on legislation which decisively improves the position of tenants at the expense of landlords when more than a quarter of its members were landlords themselves.

His comments came after yesterday’s publication of the register of TDs’ interests for 2017 showed that 4 of the 15 full Cabinet members are landlords.

File photo of opposition TD Mick Barry

The four are Cork’s Simon Coveney (a former Housing Minister), Regina Doherty, Cork’s Michael Creed and Charlie Flanagan.

His comments were similar to those of Fr Peter McVerry who pointed to a “conflict of interest”.

His comments also come just two days after a daft.ie report which showed rent rates across the State at an all-time high – higher even than during Ireland’s Celtic Tiger property boom era.

Deputy Barry said:  “A Cabinet made up of renters who had experienced receiving notices to quit in the last year would have a very different outlook on the housing crisis than a Cabinet stuffed full of landlords.  Measures such as a ban on economic evictions or strong rent controls would look very different to a Cabinet like that than it would to these landlord Ministers. The number one reason for this Government’s pro-landlord stance is Fine Gael’s slavish ideological support for the market. But anyone who thinks that the preponderance of landlords in their ranks isn’t a factor is a little naive in my opinion.”

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