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Finally Some Coverage Of The Rent Allowance Debacle

category national | housing | opinion/analysis author Wednesday July 11, 2012 14:37author by lefty Report this post to the editors

Cutting rent supplement has allowed the FG/Labour government to continue to make large cuts to the social welfare budget whilst claiming not to be touching "basic social welfare rates". The reality is that because it is left to tenants to negotiate with their landlords for a rent reduction, rather than such negotiations being undertaken by the department itself, this is rather like David negotiating with goliath and the tenant inevitably has to pay the not inconsiderable difference out of their already reduced social welfare payment.


For this reason, I was glad to see this issue being addressed, albeit in a limited fashion by the Vincent Browne program this Tuesday on TV3. Vincent did an interview with a lady and her family who were facing eviction as a result of a failed negotiation with their landlord. This poor woman's plight is only one example of the large number of people put in a similarly stressful situation and facing potential homelessness by this cynical policy of robbing the weakest in society to pay the banksters and bolster the future coffers of NAMA developers and landlords, rather than commandeering the estimated 230,000 vacant houses currently in the states in the ownership of NAMA and the banks (which we own) to house the 93,000 people currently on the housing list.

Richard Boyd Barrett explains the situation in the program and exposes the total capitalist government/developer scam that is the RAS (rental accomodation scheme)

watch it here:


Some related links:
Letter to times
wexford people article
moneyguideireland maximum rent supplement rates table
moneyguideireland: rent-allowance-cut-in-budget-2012
Irish examiner article

author by Phoenix - Justicepublication date Wed Jul 11, 2012 13:27Report this post to the editors

The mother of two brought tears to my eyes. Wrong, an awful wrong is perpetrated on a young woman (I think she mentioned she was a divorcee) who works and has two precious children. The mother, who works but who cannot pay the 'developer/tax incentive criteria' Landlord cannot pay the difference between what the State provides in rent allowance and the market rate, has been served with an Eviction notice. The mother spoke of her 10 year old daughter and the younger child who are at school in a certain area and her inability to find accommodation in the area she lives in. It looks as if nobody is willing to take her side neither Social Protection/PRTB/Threshold. The option could be B&B necessitating daily bookings to confirm nightly bookings or God Forbid a hostel.

Richard Boyd Barret & Vincent Browne last night worked as team against 'Government's inhumanity to citizens of our State. Nearly 100,000 names are on the list for housing. According to Richard Boyd-Barrett - NAMA will provide a miserly 2,000 homes when they have access to nearly 230,000. This day is the start of the ESOF2012 and Maths is supposed to be our cornerstone for future development. I ask why the delay in calculating the figures and making NAMA houses where suitable the property of Dublin City Council and relevant councils. Nobody seems to recall that throughout the early decades of Ireland as a new state, the local authorities supplied houses and collected rents in the past so why now can we not, as Richard Boyd Barrett said, revert to this model which seems to be more equitable.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Jul 11, 2012 17:29Report this post to the editors

Because the market(landlord/speculator/profiteer dictation) is more important in the eyes of our rulers than the welfare of the population.

Otherwise we would not have the ongoing gluttony(witness the throngs out a-Volvo-ing)in thee midst of 2 million on the breadline, and reports of 1 in 5 kids going to bed hungry.

We, the people, are the nation. Not the state apparatus, not the governing elite, not the embedded legal and media professions.
These resources were built by Irish workers, and have been NATIONalised. If we are the nation, they ARE ours. We, and our children, will be paying the gambling banks that capitalised their erection for at least a generation. The gamblers will not be paying for their failed capitalist speculation (they're too BIG to fail, remember). And they are getting bigger as they suck our blood.

Iceland is the formula.

Squattin time. And a barbecued landlord for the launch party, with roast banker on the side.

author by Anti-CIA Propagandapublication date Wed Jul 11, 2012 18:20Report this post to the editors

Here is a link where one can Directly download the Vincent Browne RA Program mentioned above http://content.tv3.ie/content/videos/0313/vincent_10jul...2.mp4

direct file download for anyone not on a fast connection - "Right-Click . . Save As . . ." ;-)

then save it to your HD and play with whatever video player you use for MP4's -

VLC is good - http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

BTW - Rent Allowance as currently operated is nothing but a Gov't/Taxpayer subsidy to the Private Landlord Sector

The Gov't has a constitutional obligation to ensure that ALL Irish Citizens living in Ireland are housed - so rather than actually providing housing for people it avoids this obligation by providing a subsidy for the Private Landlord Sector - parasites basically

AND the lady in the video IS correct in stating that Rent Allowance props up the housing sector, helping to keep Rent levels artificially higher than they would otherwise be - there's a serious glut in the market at the moment, but Rent levels have not fallen enough to reflect the real situation, due to the current level of RA - essentially ALL landlords and their agents are aware of this and set Rent levels a small percentage above the RA level for the area

This IS a real problem, but of course the Gov't is really not that concerned with helping bring down rent levels as such, they just want to stick the boot into those on RA

If they were Really concerned they would reduce the RA level while raising the dole level to compensate for those that can't move OR providing a small temporary subsidy to those caught in high-Rent-trap

Rents are far lower outside Dublin and anyone caught by High Rents in Dublin and having problems find landlords to take RA should simply move down the country - obviously this is not a perfect solution and won't be possible for many , particularly for those having kids etc, but for single people it IS a solution - and one that would actually possibly also help reduce rents in the Dublin area and surrounds

author by W. Finnertypublication date Wed Jul 11, 2012 18:28Report this post to the editors

Thoughts on Government:

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."

The above piece was written by John Adams (Second President of the Republic of the United States of America).

Related Link:

author by leftypublication date Wed Jul 11, 2012 20:19Report this post to the editors

"If they were Really concerned they would reduce the RA level while raising the dole level to compensate for those that can't move OR providing a small temporary subsidy to those caught in high-Rent-trap
Rents are far lower outside Dublin and anyone caught by High Rents in Dublin and having problems find landlords to take RA should simply move down the country - obviously this is not a perfect solution and won't be possible for many , particularly for those having kids etc, but for single people it IS a solution - and one that would actually possibly also help reduce rents in the Dublin area and surrounds"

Never mind all that messing about. As RBB said in the video, the government could just introduce rent controls to keep rents low. They don't need to do it via making a bunch of poor people squabble with their landlords and possibly end up homeless in the process and then hoping landlords might have a change of heart and reduce their rents at some point. Bah!. Fuck that. No, they just need to cop on and make it the law. Simple as that.

Make the maximum rent legally allowed in area y to be amount x then make rent supplement equal to that figure.

But FG will never do that. EVER. And neither will FF, GP or Labour.

author by Des - Nonepublication date Wed Jul 11, 2012 22:19Report this post to the editors

One thing we can be sure of is that no financial speculators will ever end up homeless. No surprise that the limited coverage of a vicious attack on the most vulnerable was not on RTE.

author by nicholas byrnepublication date Thu Jul 12, 2012 14:42Report this post to the editors

Seems just like the bankers, the ruling elite are more interested in saving the home based property speculator landlords, who caused the problem and fuelled the house price increases in the first place. The puppets of the German banks are making ordinary citizen pay for it. Many citizens had to sell their homes or face repossession, to pay the banks their pound of flesh.
If the speculator landlords can’t afford to pay the banks then they should be made sell their investment properties, just as the ordinary citizens had to sell their homes.
Why should the home based speculator landlords be allowed to hold on to their investments by charging rack rents to the ordinary citizens. Some ordinary citizens literally don’t know where the money for the next meal or next pair of shoes is going to come from, thanks to the cold hearted social welfare and rental allowance cuts, implemented as result of the banking guarantee.
While those greedy individuals are, safe in the knowledge that, what can now arguably be described as a de-facto fascist state will not move against the men of property and also safe in the knowledge that the ruling elite and their ilk would rather bulldoze to the ground the habitable ghost estates citizens have/are paying for, or better still for the robber landlords, invent some perverted sick scheme, transferring these estates to the speculative landlords thus giving them unbridled absolute control to charge what rack rents, they like. Rather than attempt to solve the housing/homeless crisis that the ordinary citizen, including myself are in.
The pitiful excuses being given by the state as to why habitable ghost estates are not being used in an attempt to solve the homeless crisis, coupled with the pitiful excuses why domestic rent caps are not being used to put a stop to rack renting for social housing is revolting and sickening, and is an attack on the welfare and wellbeing of the ordinary vulnerable, citizen.
There was a great outcry from the business classes regarding up warding only rent reviews, but they were given huge sympathy and promised corrective action from members of our government.
However when it comes to the ordinary citizen many of whom are people of no property, the state shows its natural contempt by putting on its laissez-fair hat. However many a civil revolt was sparked by selective laissez-fair politics. The people of no property have the potential to form a strong body, a strong lobby.
If 20,000 or even dare I say 30,000 citizens of no property, could be assembled in the capital city on numerous occasions, not simply to dissipate their anger by taking an hour or so to march through the city, but instead to actual occupy designated so called high street areas of the city, for example, Grafton street, Henry street, O' Connell street, for continuous two day periods at a time. The disruption that this would cause to the men of property and commerce, might well result in the state bending a little to the needs and welfare of its vulnerable citizens.
The speculative bankers were bailed out at the ordinary citizen’s expense, it now looks like that the home based speculator, and rack renting landlords are now being facilitated by the degrading, inhumane treatment of vulnerable citizens. The guttersnipe elite and their facilitators won’t be happy until they have us on our knees eating grass, but keeping us barely alive enough so that the established parasitic elite can feed off us. Unless we do something to stop this madness.

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