Having listened to the Minister, I think he has a wonderful imagination. When he thinks of a future career, perhaps it could be as a screenwriter or a novelist because he seems to be imagining a world that we simply cannot see and which absolutely does not exist: a world where the landlord class is facilitating the housing of our people. The reality is that every weekend – I am sure it is the same for the Ceann Comhairle – Deputies meet many distressed families who have been made homeless simply by landlords who wanted to gouge the highest possible rent out of people. That is the reality and the Minister knows it is the reality. If he does not, then he has a wonderful imagination and could have a different career than administering a housing Department. The rents have led to this desperate crisis.
I was delighted to see such a large turnout at the #HomesForAll rally in the city centre on Saturday and hope that there will also be a large turnout at the rally at the Spire tomorrow (December 8th) at 2pm calling for the National Maternity Hospital to be publicly owned.
On Tuesday evening, I hosted a meeting in Dáil Éireann with supporters from across the constituency of Dublin Bay North and we discussed matters of national, international and local importance, such as climate change, Brexit, housing and infrastructural issues around the constituency.
On Monday, I put the final touches to a Private Members’ Bill on Housing that I have been working on and hope to introduce in the near future. Opposition Deputies are not allowed to bring forward legislation that will have a cost to the Exchequer so you have to try and come up with alternative ways to help our citizens.
On Tuesday afternoon, I attended meetings of the Budgetary Oversight Committee and the Seanad Reform Implementation Group. I also represented my group of Independents at the Ceann’s dinner for Polish parliamentarians who were visiting Leinster House. All week I was studying in detail the proposed amendments to the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancies) Bill 2018 and voted according to the research that I had done on each. This debate is expected to continue into next week before moving to the Seanad.
Deputy Broughan is delighted to be supporting the ‘Raise The Roof’ initiative which was launched in Buswells today and is calling for a large public rally at lunchtime at Leinster House on October 3rd. Today’s launch was very well attended and saw representatives from most sectors of Irish society from grassroots housing action groups, unions (including the Union of Students of Ireland), charities, political parties, the National Women’s Council and others. It demonstrated the great interest in addressing the escalating housing crisis which has a devastating human cost (as Niamh Randall, spokesperson for the Simon Communities of Ireland pointed out).