Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
A motion of no confidence is being tabled against Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.
The Government is expected to table a counter motion calling for a vote of confidence in the Fianna Fáil minister.
The People Before Profit-Solidarity motion will note that “up to 20,000 people” demonstrated on the streets of Dublin on November 26th as part of a Raise the Roof rally demanding an end to homelessness and calling for more social and affordable homes.
It will also say that the Government’s “catastrophic failure” on housing is being exploited to whip up racist and anti-refugee sentiment.
The motion will say that the Dáil “has no confidence in the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, that his housing policies are creating a catastrophic failure that is tearing apart the social fabric of Irish society, and calls for the minister to be removed from office”.
If passed, Mr O’Brien would not be removed from office, but it would place pressure on the Government to replace him as minister if the majority of TDs vote no confidence in him.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who is due to swap roles with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on December 17th, has said Mr O’Brien will remain as Minister for Housing after the upcoming reshuffle.
The vote comes after four months of record homelessness and spiralling housing costs.
Research from the ESRI think-tank showed average private rents rose from €589 to €1,084 per month between 2012 and 2021, with recent figures from the Banking and Payments Federation showing similar trends.
The Government has warned it faces a challenging period ahead to tackle the severe shortage of housing, exacerbated by a slowdown in construction during the pandemic and the surge in asylum seekers this year.
The Dáil rises for the Christmas period on Thursday and is not due to return until Wednesday, January 18th.