Future of rent reforms unsure

Future of rent reforms unsure

Update 12pm The future of the government's proposed rent reforms is hanging in the balance - after the measures were taken off today's Dáil agenda.

But housing minister Simon Coveney says he's still hopeful of bringing them back to the Dáil today, so they can be passed in time for Christmas.

But he is refusing to bring the measures to the Dáil unless he can reach a deal with Fianna Fáil about what to include.

There were chaotic scenes in the Dáil this morning as opposition TDs tried to force the measures back onto the agenda.

But Minister Coveney says that unless there's a deal with Fianna Fáil, it would be reckless to bring the measures to a vote: "I cannot agree to take a Government bill, in Government time, if I do not know what the outcome is likely to be at report stage.

"If I do that I am likely facing the prospect of having to implement a piece of legislation that is neither legally sound or makes sense."

Update: The Dáil debate on the government's new housing strategy has been postponed - amid signs the scheme could be abandoned.

TDs were due to start debating Simon Coveney's new plan for rent caps in high-pressure areas in a few minutes' time.

But just minutes before the debate, TDs were told the legislation had been pulled off the Dáil schedule.

Future of rent reforms unsure

Last night Enda Kenny told Fine Gael TDs that the scheme would be withdrawn unless Fianna Fáil gave its backing to a 4% annual cap.

A spokeswoman for Minister Coveney had said the door remained open for talks, but the Dáil debate on the plan has now been delayed.

Earlier: Plans for a cap on rent increases could be scrapped this afternoon - just two days after being published.

Fine Gael is set to abandon the idea unless Fianna Fáil agrees to set the cap at 4%.

Fine Gael says it won’t back down from its plan for a 4% cap on rent increases in Dublin and Cork. It says if the cap goes any lower, landlords will be scared off.

But Fianna Fáil says 4% is too high - and has arranged a Dáil vote for this afternoon, on lowering it to 2%.

And last night Enda Kenny - told Fine Gael TDs that unless the cap stays at 4%, the plan will be scrapped entirely.

One possible compromise is that the 4% limit could remain - in exchange for an agreement to extend the rent caps to Galway, Limerick and Waterford straight away.

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