Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Irish Government Introduces Apartheid.

March 29th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Irish Politics, Social Policy

What you mean you missed it? Don’t worry so have a lot of people.

The Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2007 is currently going through the Oireachtas. Contained in that bill is a clause that will mean that private developers in the many areas of Dublin will be able to tell buyers that nobody on social welfare is renting in the area where they are building.

How is that the case? Well in a few weeks it will be the law that any area under regeneration will not be accessible to anyone in receipt of rent supplement. The builders and the land owners seem to have done a deal so that they don’t have to provide housing for people even if the government are paying for it. The government tried to do this without introducing a law in Ballymun of all places a few years ago. Now they are making sure that this apartheid is legal.
In the bill as amended by the Dail and due to go before the Seanad the clause reads

Section 25

…..(3B) Subject to subsection (3C), a payment referred to in subsection (3) shall not be payable in respect of a person’s residence where his or her residence is situated in an area notified to the Minister by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government as being an area of regeneration for the purpose of providing for greater social integration.

An area of regeneration for the purpose of providing for greater social integration? How socially integrated will an area be if families on low incomes, older pople, people with disabilities and others entitled to rent supplements will not be able to live there??

If one lives in the area already and is receiving rent supplement then one should not be affected. However that too could change. And then as many already know finding a landlord who would take rent supplement was hard enough.

Therefore those who rely on the private rented sector for housing and receive supplement will be forced to live in areas where accommodation is not regenerated, where there is no real social mix, and where the government have not done deals with builders and private property owners to banish the poor.

So the affordable housing (20%) deal has been shown to be a load of rubbish with builders doing deals with councils to absolve themselves of their responsibilities, and now in areas where they rent out or own properties they will be able to say that those who could never afford to buy any house or apartment will not be renting theirs either.

Ah yes Bertie we can all see what the next step is!



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