Sunday 17 December 2017

Experts split over right rent approach

Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan

A series of reports studied by the Government as part of the debate over the introduction of rent controls have provided conflicting verdicts.

One that was compiled for Environment Minister Alan Kelly's own department goes so far as to say there is a "relatively weak" argument for a rent freeze.

Experts in Finance Minister Michael Noonan's department have advised him that there are "no examples" of a positive outcome linked to controls.


However, sources close to Mr Kelly have pointed out that two other reports available to the Government have supported the idea of rent certainty being pursued by the minister.

One is by the National Economic and Social Council and the other by the OECD.

"The main point is that investors worry far more about volatility than regulation," said a source.

Mr Kelly remains determined to press ahead with some form of rent certainty, but cannot secure agreement from Fine Gael.

Both sides claim the other is to blame for the delay in reaching a compromise.

As relations between the two sides worsen, sources have also claimed that a meeting on the issue due to be attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the day before the Budget was cancelled at short notice.

Mr Kelly also said yesterday that he did not turn down a package aimed at lower income families ahead of the Budget, a claim that is vigorously contested by sources within Fine Gael.

"He might not call it a package, but there was a suite of measures that could have been announced on Budget Day," said a source.

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