The winter clearance ban would be a “one-off” measure and would end in March, says Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

A possible eviction ban would not be extended beyond March, according to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

r Varadkar said the move, which will be discussed by government leaders tonight, is a moratorium on terminations issued by landlords.

Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien has drawn up proposals for the measure, which will be examined by Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Greens leader Eamon Ryan tonight.

Mr Varadkar said the ban was a “one off proposal” if the government agreed.

“His suggestion is that it would only be for the winter period, that it would be until the end of March and then not extended at that point,” he said.

“The government has to weigh the pros and cons. It’s an obvious benefit and a good thing that people wouldn’t lose their homes in the winter, but we have to weigh that against the possibility that this could lead to more landlords selling, or selling faster, in which ​​If there are fewer properties will be available in the long term.”

The Tánaiste said landlords’ property rights are not “absolute” when asked if the ban would violate the constitutional rights of owners who want to sell their homes and have to evict tenants to do so.

“It has always been the case in Ireland in constitutional matters that property rights are in the public interest, they are not absolute.

“We have property taxes, we have compulsory orders, we have rental pressure zones, so it has never been the case that property rights in Ireland are absolute; You are not.”

Although Fianna Fáil often claims that not enough houses were built in Fine Gael in the last 10 years, the Tánaiste suggested that Fianna Fáil also had a role to play in the housing crisis, as she was calling the shots at the time of the banking crisis had in 2010.

“We should not acknowledge the root causes of the real estate crisis. We had a real estate crash and a bank collapse 12 years ago. The construction industry has never fully recovered since then, it doesn’t have the capacity to build as many houses as we would like,” he said.

“We have a rapidly growing population, now 5.3 million, 80,000 more people live in the country than a year ago.”

Meanwhile, Mr Varadkar also raised concerns about whether Sinn Féin is strategically using legal threats to “stifle” public debate.

His comments come after RTÉ bosses were asked to answer questions at an Oireachtas committee about why it decided not to conduct a radio interview with Shane Ross about his book on Mary Lou McDonald.

Ms McDonald is currently taking legal action against RTÉ, and some of her party colleagues have also previously taken legal action against the broadcaster.

Mr Varadkar said while he had not received any legal letters, three Fine Gael politicians had previously.

He said it appeared to be an “almost strategic” use of legal action to try “to quash debate”. The winter clearance ban would be a “one-off” measure and would end in March, says Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

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