Gavin Mendel-GleasonThe Workers’ Party have this morning (Friday) said that tackling the housing crisis is the only way to reverse increased graduate emigration.

Dublin Northwest spokesperson Gavin Mendel-Gleason (Workers’ Party), was reacting to figures released yesterday (Thursday) by the CSO which showed a 15% year-on-year increase in the numbers of graduates emigrating.

Mendel-Gleason said:

“ estimated last year that the average starting salary for graduates who do get a job in their field is €24,000. Average rent for a room in a shared house in Dublin is now upwards of €700.

That’s 40% of a typical graduate’s take home pay, totally unsustainable financially. And there is zero possibility of someone on that income renting a home of their own, meanwhile.”

Mendel-Gleason said the figures show up the so-called ‘recovery’ for the farce that it is:

“Dublin rents have risen by 18%, but salaries remained static. What sort of a recovery is that? How is anybody supposed to expect young people to try and make a life in a country where they are expected to fork out more and more of their salary, in exchange for minimal security and rights as a tenant?

Even the “rent certainty” measures introduced by Fine Gael ensure rents will rise by 4% per annum – far above wage rises.”

Mendel-Gleason concluded by calling for a large scale programme of building universally-accessible public housing to tackle the crisis:
“Graduates are by no means the lowest paid employees in the country. And yet for most, the idea of a secure, permanent home is a distant dream.

“It is essential that we expand our public housing system to allow anybody who wants to to access it, with a massive public housing building programme.”