Rents should fall after supports cut
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is to reduce by €22m the €516m per year paid to landlords in rent supplement for tenants living on social welfare. This move has much to commend it. It will have beneficial effects well outside the concerns of those directly involved.
The social advantages of this particular benefit are questionable. Even if they are granted -- and ignoring for the moment any abuses engaged in by a minority -- one must also question the relatively large amount of money spent in this area.
The availability of the supplement has pushed up rents in the entire market, not just for properties inhabited by individuals or families on social welfare.