David Gardiner - WP Lucan/Palmerstown Representative

David Gardiner, Workers’ Party candidate in the Dublin Mid-West byelection, has slammed South Dublin County Council’s decision to increase rent as “completely irresponsible” and “moving backwards”.

This comes as the council’s Annual Budget for 2020 was voted through the council chamber earlier this month. The budget reports an “average increase of €3 across the board”, which, over the course of a year, amounts to tenants paying an extra €156. Meanwhile, some OAPs will be losing a subsidy previously provided to them in order to help cover the cost of their rent, increasing their rent by €676 annually.

“In the midst of a housing crisis, the last thing that the council should be doing is hiking up the price of rent.” Gardiner said. “It is completely irresponsible of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and Independents in the ruling group to vote in favour of this.”

Gardiner continued, stating; ‘’The proper way to deal with local authority funding is for local councils to be given new revenue raising capacities. Instead of rent increases that will worsen the housing crisis, they could introduce taxes aimed at the wealthiest sections of society – landlords, developers and corporations. There are many possibilities for revenue raising in this way, for example, a landlord’s tax, in which large landlords owning two or more properties pay commercial rates on those properties.’