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Election Diary: Housing, Government ‘running out of road’ and elections on a weekend

Person voting

We are going to have a General Election in the coming months.

We don’t know when – but the speculation is that it could be as early as February 7.

And so, we are bringing back our Election Diary!

Sean Fleming says lack of housing in Laois is a major issue 

Fianna Fail TD Sean Fleming believes that housing will be a big issue in the upcoming General Election.

He said: “The lack of housing in Co. Laois is the key issue facing many people and will be a major issue in the upcoming General Election campion.

“The lack of affordable houses in Co. Laois for people on average income to purchase means many people are facing the prospect of having to rent for life.

“People in this situation are also caught by paying very high rents especially in Portlaoise and because they are paying these high rents they cannot afford to save for a deposit.

“The mortgage repayment on many houses would be less than the actual monthly rent and yet the Government is not allowing many people who have proven they can pay a mortgage to buy their own home.

“This Government for the first time in the history of the State has a policy of social engineering to change the culture of home ownership in Ireland to eventually turn us into a nation of renters.

“Many of these houses will be owned by multinational investment companies (vulture funds/cuckoo funds).

“The situation facing people on the social housing list is even worse and there has never been so few houses built by Laois County Council in recent times, solely as a result of the Government starving the Council of funds.

“Worse still is the many people who are on low to middle incomes and are not eligible to go on the social housing list and cannot save a deposit for a mortgage.  This Fine Gael Government has a policy of abandoning these people.

“It is part of the Fine Gael DNA not to build social housing.”

Fine Gael/Fianna Fail confidence and supply government have run out of road.

Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley has said that the Fianna Fail/ Fine Gael have run out of road.

He said: “Leo Varadkar has at last had to face reality that his govern no longer can command a majority in the Dail chamber due to the continuing escalation in health and housing.

“Simon Harris TD and the government have failed miserably to deal with the health crisis. For 9 years they have failed to give any commitment or put a plan in place for Portlaoise Hospital.

“The housing situation continues to see families homeless or facing sky rocketing rents, with no prospects of either being able to buy a home or acquire a council house.

“During the term of this government carbon emissions have hit record levels and the government have failed to prepare for a Just Transmission for Bord na Mona and ESB workers in the midlands.

“Workers and families need to be given a break as they are under enormous financial pressure. A succession of stealth taxes and increase charges now need to be reversed.

“We will challenge the 2 establishment parties Fianna Fail /Fine Gael over the coming weeks on these issues.”

Fiona O’Loughlin calls for elections to be held on a weekend

Kildare South TD Fiona O’Loughlin has posed that elections should be held on Saturday’s.

She said: “As we wait for Leo Varadkar to finally make up his mind and announce the date of the election, I strongly believe it’s time to change how we “do elections” and not hold the election on a weekday.

“I’m not happy about schools being used as polling stations and closing to accommodate the elections. This is so difficult for working parents to manage and children are needlessly losing out on a whole day’s education.

“Then there’s the added issue of students and the many people who work away from home, either abroad or a different city or county to that of their birth and where they may not be registered to vote. Therefore I believe the Election should be held on a weekend day.

“If the election is called on a weekday, it’s time to think about changing the location to GAA clubs used as polling centres. It would be just as easy to hold voting there – every community has a clubhouse!”

SEE ALSO – Trees down on Laois roads as Storm Brendan hits 

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Megan is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. A Raheen native, she's happiest when talking sport, especially soccer but just don't mention the 2019 champions league final