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Over 60% of Irish people back rent freeze bill, new survey finds

The Bill passed in its first stage in the Dáíl earlier this month.
Dec 22nd 2019, 7:00 AM 9,623 44

OVER 60% OF people are in favour of the proposed rent freeze bill, a new poll has found. 

The latest Amárach/Claire Byrne Live poll for found that 61% of people nationwide wanted the rents to be capped.

The Rent Freeze (Fair Rent) Bill 2019 was brought forward by Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin. 

The bill would put a freeze on rents for the next three years. 

The question put to respondents was: “Do you agree with the proposed rent freeze bill?” 

61% of people agreed, 17% said ‘no’ while 22% of respondents said that they did not know.

Breaking down the figures by location, 59% of people from Dublin were in favour of the freeze while 20% were against and 21% did not know. 

In Munster, 62% were in favour and 15% were against. 60% of those in Connacht wanted the freeze and 26% did not. 

If we look at the ages of those surveyed, the figures showed how 51% of 18-24 year olds wanted the rent to be frozen with 13% against. 

Over two thirds of those aged 25-34 were in favour of it. The highest number of those opposed to the bill were those aged over 55. 23% of those people did not want the rents to be frozen. 

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said this legislation was needed as it was clear “rents are completely out of control”.

“It it time to give renters a break,” he said. “The Bill does just that. It seeks to put a months rent back in every renters pocket through a refundable tax credit and to stop rents from increasing. Fine Gael have given tax breaks to just about everybody else.”

While the Bill passed its first stage, it is not expected to become law.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy attacked Fianna Fáil for backing Sinn Féin’s bill, describing it as “reckless” and said there was no evidence it would succeed.

He said an opening of the bill shows it was “immediately unconstitutional”. 

“Where is the evidence it would work? Where is the evidence it is constitutional?” he asked. 

It does nothing but negative to what tenants actually need.

He said experts had warned against rent freezes in Berlin and those warnings were borne out. Murphy said experts here also warned against the freeze. 

The minister did acknowledge, however, that rents are still “too high” and “unsustainably high”. 

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Garreth MacNamee


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