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Labour party pledges to back motion of no confidence against Housing Minister

The Labour party have pledged to back a motion of no confidence against the Housing Minister and say the next general election will be fought on the housing crisis.

Housing spokeswoman Jan O'Sullivan said the party wanted to introduce several measures to protect tenants as the government's rent pressure limits had failed.

Labour want a rent register set up so new tenants can check previous rates that applied.

Rents should also be linked to the consumer price index and tenants should only be required to give over a month's deposit when moving in, said the Limerick TD.

“The market is going sky-high because of the demand, there are so many people now trying to rent. If you look at the constitution, there is a balance between the common good and the rights of private property.

“In Limerick, they [rents] went up by 14% last year. If you allow total freedom in the market, you will price people out of the rent sector.”

“Furthermore, if you are living in areas just outside Dublin, you are outside rent pressure ones and your neighbours are inside.”

“Everybody in the country is entitled to not more than 4% increase [in rent], which is reasonable when you think that wages are not going up that much,”

But asked about whether the party would stand against the housing minister if a Dail motion is moved against him in the coming months, Ms O'Sullivan said the party would back it.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy

Sinn Féin last week said it was contemplating introducing a Dáil motion against Minister Eoghan Murphy in the coming months as failed promises to tackle the housing crisis were not working. Labour would back the move, Ms O'Sullivan said.

“I wouldn't pin it totally on Eoghan Murphy, but we would support a motion should it arise.”

The comments come ahead of nationwide marches this week highlighting the housing crisis.

The marches will be led by trade unions, campaigners and youth groups, with large crowds expected to convene in Dublin.

- Irish Examiner