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Finally Some Coverage Of The Rent Allowance Debacle
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.