THE Sinn Féin bill to extend the eviction ban until the end of January 2024, was defeated by 14 votes following a vote in the Dáil last night.
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould said he hoped all the personal stories in the last week would have swayed Independent TDs. “It was hoped the personal stories might have swung the Independent TDs. Five Independent TDs went with the Government which was a ten-vote swing. For anyone who was holding out any hope, this vote was devastating. A lot of people will be distraught following this outcome. People will be facing eviction from April onwards and throughout the summer,” he said.
Deputy Gould said the Government decision to end the no-fault eviction ban on Saturday, April 1 was ‘disgraceful’. “It is a disgraceful decision, and it shows you how out of touch the Government is with ordinary people. We will continue to hold the Government to account. We might have lost the vote, but we are going to keep the pressure on the Government.”
said the Cork TD.
“In years to come this decision will go down with Fianna Fáil bringing in the Troika, the water charges, and proposals to put VAT on children’s shoes. The Government have taken a conscious decision to allow people to be evicted in the middle of a housing emergency.”
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central Padraig O’Sullivan acknowledged there will be a ‘fallout’ from their decision. “The Government last week announced a range of interventions, and we hope they will have the desired impact. We had to take a stance that the eviction ban was contributing to the continued exiting of landlords out of the private rental market. There will obviously be a fallout.” “We need to work with local authorities and to get people housed,” Deputy O’Sullivan said.
“There has been a 26% decrease in the number of people on the social housing lists. This shows Housing for All is having an impact.”
In a separate vote, the Government won a motion of confidence after the Labour Party tabled a vote. The coalition’s countermotion to reaffirm confidence in the Government was backed by 86 TDs, with 67 voting against. There were no abstentions.
Cork TD and Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns said she expects there will be more votes of no confidence in the Government.
she said. “The people it has failed on housing have had enough.”
Neasa Hourigan, who was last week suspended from the Green Party for 15 months after voting against the Government in a Dail vote on extending the eviction ban, voted in support of the motion of confidence in the Government.