Minister says cheaper rent options exist across city
A government minister has claimed tenants can find cheaper rents in Dublin by looking to move to the northside.
Junior Finance Minister Michael D'Arcy said that tenants looking to rent in the capital should consider looking for accommodation in other parts of the city.
He said there are cheaper options available as you move from the southside of Dublin towards the Liffey, and on to the northside.
It comes after a damning report by Daft.ie found rent prices were up 10.4pc last year, and have increased by 65pc since 2011.
Annual rents in Dublin are now €4,500 more expensive, on average, when compared to the the boom, yet Mr D'Arcy claimed cheaper options are available in the capital.
Fianna Fail housing spokesperson Barry Cowen said the comments show the Government is trying to normalise the housing crisis.
"It further feeds into the Fine Gael narrative and attempts to seek to normalise this crisis.
"This is truly remarkable and highlights the fact that a minister in Government is so out of touch and detached from reality."
Speaking at an event on Pearse Street, Dublin yesterday, Mr D'Arcy said cheaper options were available to residents in the capital.
"There's [a] rental issue, but there's also different areas where rental isn't as expensive as it is a couple of streets towards the river, and the other side of the river," said Mr D'Arcy.
"I know everybody always quotes the high-cost areas but there are other places that are available for rent for a fraction of what's being quoted in the headline figures."
He added that rent issues were not unique to Dublin and posed problems in other jurisdictions.
"Every city I've been to there's a rental issue. The high end is expensive and it's expensive in Dublin," he added.
"It's expensive in every other city that I go to, whether it's San Francisco, Singapore, Shanghai."
However, Mr D'Arcy also said the rental crisis was an issue when it came to attracting jobs and foreign direct investment.
"It's a bigger issue for the people who are perhaps on higher pay," he said. "That's a difficulty we're trying to deal with."
The Herald asked the Department of Finance for evidence of homes available in these areas for a fraction of the rental prices quoted in reports, but no examples were provided.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was asked about the rental crisis in the Dail yesterday when Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin pointed to a Department of Finance report published last September on the tax and fiscal treatment of rental accommodation.
It made 10 recommendations to address the current housing crisis, including introducing tax relief measures for landlords.
"Housing targets by Government are not being met," Mr Martin added. "It is a crisis in our cities by any yardstick."
Mr Varadkar said he would like to remind himself of these recommendations before commenting on them.
He added the Government was aware of the impact rising rent prices have on people.
Mr Cowen was critical of the Government's response to the housing crisis and said he wants to see it do more.