Government defeats the Sinn Féin Bill to extend the eviction ban by 81-67 votes

Government defeats the Sinn Féin Bill to extend the eviction ban by 81-67 votes
Image by Q K from Pixabay

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar believes that extending the eviction moratorium is not the answer and could only lead to an increase in homelessness.

The Government successfully blocked a Sinn Féin bill that would have prolonged the eviction ban until 2024, with an 81-67 majority voting in favour of the motion. TD Neasa Hourigan was suspended from the parliamentary party for 15 months and voted against the Government.

Five independent TDs, Seán Canney, Michael Lowry, Noel Grealish, Denis Naughten and Danny Healy Rae, voted in favour of the Government while former Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry voted against it.

The Residential Tenancies (Deferment of Termination Dates of Certain Tenancies) Bill 2023 introduced by Sinn Féin proposed an extension of the eviction ban until January 2024.

The Government recently put forward an amendment to the proposed legislation which TDs voted on. This amendment included a decision not to extend the eviction moratorium, which will end in stages at the end of this month.

Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Sinn Féin, reported that her colleague Denise Mitchell was in contact with an elderly woman who was at risk of being evicted.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar declared that prolonging the eviction moratorium would not be advantageous and could lead to an increase in homelessness. Creating more social housing, introducing the tenant-in-situ scheme, amending taxes to deter landlords from leaving the market and providing adequate homelessness prevention services were all seen as suitable solutions. He admitted that many people were worried due to the notices of eviction they have received in recent months.

Mr Varadkar stated that the data provided by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) indicated a total of 52,000 new tenancies in the past four quarters, contradicting Eoin Ó Broin's views on the matter.