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Govt rules out payment increase
27 Mar 2015 20:08
Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton has announced the Government will not be raising ceilings on Rent Supplement payments.
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In a statement, the Department of Social Protection says the decision is on foot of the findings of an official review that any immediate increase in the level of rent to which the subsidy applies could add further to rental inflation.
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The Department statement says that in "an already distressed market", such inflation would affect not alone Rent Supplement recipients, but lower-income workers and students.
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The Rent Supplement scheme costs the taxpayer €298 million annually and supports over 70,000 people.
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The review foresees an increase in limits for the scheme risking "several potentially negative effects".
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For example, it could provide an impetus for current Rent Supplement landlords to renegotiate their lease agreements to the new higher limits, which would impact on all those supported by the scheme.
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The review also says a raising of the supplement's limits could "create new rental floors for all properties in the sector, meaning rent increases for those not in receipt of the subsidy".
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These would include many individuals and families who would struggle with such increases, such as low-income workers and students.
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