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Sasko Lazarov
No Confidence

Govt facing more eviction ban headaches as Labour and SF prepare motions and new laws

Labour is proceeding with its no-confidence motion, while Sinn Féín proposes new legislation to halt evictions.

LAST UPDATE | 23 Mar 2023

THE LABOUR PARTY has submitted a motion of no-confidence in the Government today. 

The motion reads that the Government by its refusal to extend the ban on evictions “has made a deliberate and conscious decision to expose thousands of people to the risk of immediate homelessness”.

“Although motions are non-binding, yesterday’s vote sent a strong message to people in housing distress,” Labour leader Ivana Bacik said. 

It is expected that the motion will be heard in private members time next Wednesday.

It is not the only headache for Government next week.

While Sinn Féin’s motion to extend the eviction ban was defeated last night, the party is progressing with a piece of legislation to extend the eviction ban. 

It will also be taken in private members time next week.

The party’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin will introduce the legislation at First Stage in the Dáil today at 1pm. 

The Second Stage debate will take place next week. 

Labour leader Ivana Bacik said yesterday that tabling a no confidence motion in the Dáil is not something her party does lightly.

However, she said the lifting of the eviction ban would have devastating consequences for households around the country.

Shoring up support from the Regional Independent group of TDs ensured the Government had the comfortable numbers in last night’s vote, however, attention has now turned to the number of asks that were made to the Government in return for their support.

‘Political theatre’

Speaking in Brussels this afternoon, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar called the no-confidence motion “political theatre”. 

He said it was disappointing that the opposition was using its time in such a way, stating that he would like to see them put forward solutions. 

Varadkar said he has not yet spoken to any independent TDs in relation to how they will vote in the no-confidence motion next week.

He said it wasn’t the first motion of confidence the Government has faced down, stating “it will be defeated, it will be defeated by a significant margin”. 

The Government will talk to “like-minded independents who don’t want an election next week or in three weeks time”, said Varadkar, calling them “sensible, reasonable independents”.

National issues and constituency issues feature in such discussions, as they do with backbench TDs, said the Taoiseach.

“Let’s not forget what a confidence motion means. It means an election in four weeks time. Does anyone really think that’s going to solve any of our problems? I don’t think so,” he said.  

Questions have been raised by TDs such as Labour’s Ged Nash as to how much the measures proposed by the Regional Independents will cost. 

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe said yesterday that he was certain that the proposals put forward by the independent TDs were “affordable from within the budget of the Department of Housing”.

“We’re always looking at different ideas and different options that can make a difference and can improve things,” Donohoe told reporters. 

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