Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty proposed a tax relief for renters alongside a three year emergency rent freeze ahead of the upcoming budget.
The Donegal TD announced that the policy would form part of Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget proposals aimed at tackling the growing cost of living and housing crises in the State.
Speaking today as he closed Sinn Féin’s ‘A New Economy for a Changing Ireland’ conference, Teachta Doherty said: “Sinn Féin, and I as the party’s Finance spokesperson, are determined for the first time on our island to drive a real debate about our economy.
"Faced with social crises and economic risk, we need a new consensus and a new set of ideas. This is the purpose of our conference today.
“We want a new Ireland, based on shared prosperity, where no one is left behind. This will also be the focus of our Alternative Budget.
“Rent prices, which are 34% above peak in Dublin, are the highest in the history of the state, and rising. Countless young people have been convinced that they will never own a home of their own.
“Struggling families and young people are locked into a cycle of sky high rents, and locked out of the housing market as their bills disappear month-in, month-out into the coffers of landlords.
“So today I am announcing a bold and urgent policy in keeping with our priorities in the coming budget to tackle this growing cost of living crisis.
“Sinn Féin is proposing the introduction of a temporary tax relief for renters.
“This relief will cover the price of one month’s rent for every renter in the State for a period of three years. In other words, the relief will be 8.3% of rent paid in a year. It will be capped at €1,500 per renter, and will be refundable to ensure working families on low incomes can benefit.
“Alongside this measure, Sinn Féin is proposing a three year, emergency rent freeze.
“Existing tenancies would have their rents frozen at their current levels. All new tenancies would be pegged to the Residential Tenancies Board standardised average rent index by County and where appropriate Local Electoral Area.
“Sinn Féin will also double capital investment in public housing to deliver an ambitious programme of Council led social and affordable homes for those on Council waiting lists and for working families unable to rent or buy in the private market.
“These measures amount to a housing crisis package which is alone in its scope and ambition among political parties in this state.
“Our emergency rent freeze and one month’s rent back for renters are some of many bold ideas outlined in our Alternative Budget, aimed at driving a new economic consensus where the needs of citizens are front and centre.
“It’s time for a new discussion about our society and economy on this island, and Sinn Féin will be leading this discussion.”
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