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Still Friends

Why was there no rent certainty in the Budget?

Michael Noonan says they just ran out of time.

WHEN THE BUDGET was announced yesterday, one previously touted measure was absent: rent certainty.

Reports over the last two days say that is because of a falling out between Finance Minister and Environment Alan Kelly.

While Labour had been known to be pushing for some form of control on private rents, but today’s Irish Daily Mail says that Kelly was “slapped down” and failed to convince Noonan on the issue.

However, speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Noonan said that the two ministers had simply “run out of time” to prepare an agreeable move on rent certainty and that there was no ill will between the cabinet colleagues.

“There wasn’t any fight. We ran out of time, so I went ahead with the measure I control, as Nama reports to me.

My officials and Alan’s officials will meet again next week. We will work with Environment officials to examine legislative measures.

A Labour Party source told that there were “some eyebrows raised” over the absence of the measure within the party, but “nobody was threatening a mutiny or anything over it”.

In a statement yesterday, Kelly welcomed the extra spending on social housing, but did not mention rent certainty.

The lack of a measure to tackle the rental market was criticised by a number of opposition politicians, as well as Labour’s own Seanad spokesperson on housing.

We needed a package of measures that included rent certainty proposals which would limit the rate of rent increases faced by families experiencing unsustainable rent increases.

“Families are becoming homeless because of our failure to tackle profiteering by landlords and to manage a dysfunctional housing system. Economic evictions are a leading cause of homelessness because families simply cannot afford to pay high rent increases.”

Renua Ireland said that Kelly’s “sole contribution to our housing crisis has consisted of a political row with Minister Micheal Noonan over rent caps”.

Read: Are prefab villages really the future of housing?

Read: Did Labour get too much in the Budget?

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