In July Housing Minister, Darragh O’Brien said he was going to tackle rising rents by scrapping the previous Fine Gael government’s Rent Pressure Zone scheme.
This had limited rent increases to 4% a year and so enabled landlords to push up rents considerably.
Instead, O’Brien said that his new scheme would limit rent increases to the rate of inflation. In an example of PR spin, he claimed that the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices had averaged 0.73 over the past three years. We were led to believe that landlords could only get away with this type of tiny increase.
However, it was a trick as O Brien knew that inflation was rising above this figure. And now the full truth is revealed.
Newspapers are reporting a major price shock because the rate of inflation has already risen to 3%.
And that is only the start. Major price increases in electricity, second-hand cars and clothing are in the pipeline and will appear in the figures later.
So we will again be facing big rents hikes – because this government is dominated by the landlord parties.
We need a real left government that will set maximum rents for square metres to bring about rent reductions. People Before Profit is fully committed to that task.