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  • Southside

Pensioners are hit with rent hike

Wednesday, 27th November, 2019 8:00am
Pensioners are hit with rent hike
Pensioners are hit with rent hike

PENSIONERS living in South Dublin County Council housing are facing rent increases of €13 per week.

This has occurred following the removal of a €10 rent allowance for over 65-year-olds along with a €3 increase in all social housing rents.

Sinn Fein councillor, Mark Ward said: “We had robustly defended the €10 a week discount to weekly rents for all old age pensioners.

“Old age pensioners are already being pushed to the brink financially. This measure is going to push them over the edge.”

According to Cllr Ward, 9,840 council homes will see this rent increase of €3 per week, with those over 65 years old facing yearly increases of €676 on their rent.

An Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney defended the move by saying that next year’s housing budget will be more than €2.6 billion.

“This represents a dramatic increase over recent years in terms of what the Government could afford.” he said.

“Many are in temporary accommodation that is not suitable in the long term.”

According to Minister Coveney, the objective of the decision is to get people into homes “so they can have stable lives with the support of the State.”

Cllr Ed O’Brien of Fianna Fáil welcomed the passing of the SDCC budget 2020, saying: “It  is the start of a return to the provision of full and proper services for those living in the County.

“Fianna Fáil has never shied away from taking hard decisions and will continue to do so in the interests of its constituents.” he added.

The first budget of South Dublin County Council under the leadership of Fine Gael will deliver better services, reduced property tax and a focus on climate action.

That’s according to Fine Gael candidate in the upcoming Dublin Mid-West bye election, Cllr Emer Higgins.

Cllr Higgins said: “This is the first Fine Gael led budget of South Dublin County Council and while we are reducing property taxes, we will deliver improved services for communities across South Dublin, as well as a strong focus on climate action.

“We are reducing Local Property Tax by 15 per cent next year.

“While the property tax is a much-needed source of revenue for council services we don’t want families penalised as the value of their homes has risen during the economic recovery.

“Funding for recreation and amenities is so important and we will have new play spaces, further funding for all weather facilities, teen facilities and new libraries. Community funding has been increased by €85,000 to support further health and wellbeing initiatives, while an additional €100,000 has been provided to prepare a comprehensive Local Sports Plan and to kick start its implementation. Lucan Pool will also open in January 2021 and will be a fabulous resource.

Cllr Sandra Fay noted that the Solidarity Party put forward alternative proposals that could have raised over €10 million a year by putting additional rates on the top multinational companies in the country.

“This would have given the council extra resources to invest in maintenance, housing and community facilities.” she said.

“These issues cannot be resolved by attacking local authority tenants and senior citizens.”

South Dublin County Council did not comment at time of going to press.

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