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€436m spent on rent help

THE Government has provided €436m for rent supplement in 2012, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton told the Dail. Total expenditure on the scheme from 2007-11 was €2.36bn.

At present, about 92,000 persons receive rent supplement, of whom some 37,000 are single. The remaining 55,000 clients are couples, couples with children and single-parent households.

Sleeping rough

THERE are many obscenities to the austerity agenda, one of the worst of which is homelessness and of that, the worst of all is youth homelessness, People Before Profit Deputy Richard Boyd-Barrett told the Dail.

There are, he said, about 1,000 homeless in the Dublin city area. The number has increased dramatically and homelessness organisations estimate that 100 young people sleep alone on the streets at night in Dublin.

It's the banks

THE problem with the Personal Insolvency Bill is not the intent, it is not the solutions suggested, it is not the proposed insolvency body and it is not the intermediaries, Dublin South TD Shane Ross told the Dail.

It is the fact that ultimately the power lies in one place, the place where it has always been in Ireland. The banks will hold the final say and they will hold a veto on people who are stuck with mortgages they cannot pay off, he said.

No boycott

THE Government has not made any proposal for a boycott of Israeli goods and the Government does not support any such boycott, the Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore, told the Dail.

Successive Governments have taken this view and recognised also that such a proposal would have no chance of success.

Court scandal

DELAYS in family court hearings, with the consequent impact on women and children in particular, is a scandal, Dun Laoghaire Fine Gael Deputy Mary Mitchell-O'Connor told the House.

"The picture being painted by the people in contact with me is of a system in complete disarray, with many women and children living in poverty and on the edge," she said.