Dáil Éireann - Volume 261 - 31 May, 1972
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rent Strikes.
Mr. L'Estrange Mr. L'Estrange
121. Mr. L'Estrange asked the Minister for Local Government (a) the number of local authorities in which a rent strike is now taking place; (b) the date of commencement of the strike in each local authority area; (c) the amount due to each local authority; (d) the total amount due to all local authorities; (e) the reasons for these strikes; and (f) what action, if any, the Minister has taken or contemplates taking to resolve the disputes.
Mr. Cunningham Mr. Cunningham
Mr. Cunningham: At the 30th May, 1972, some tenants of six of the 115 local housing authorities were withholding rents.
In the case of five of these authorities, some rents are being withheld mainly in support of a claim that rents under differential rent schemes should be assessed on basic income only to the exclusion of overtime and bonus payments.
In the case of two of the six authorities, some tenants are withholding rents because of small increases in the rents of low-rented dwelling imposed  by the local authorities concerned to meet part of the rising costs of repairs and maintenance.
As I informed the Deputy in reply to Question No. 124 on 2nd December, 1971, the management and control of houses in their estates is, subject to the Housing Acts and Regulations, vested in the local authorities. It is with these authorities, therefore, that the tenants must reach agreement within the framework of the existing law on any issue relating to the rents of the houses since it is the local authorities who would have to raise the money through increased rates or adjustment of other rents for any concessions they grant. I might add that following discussions between representatives of the local authorities and the tenants, rents disputes in six other areas were resolved in the last few months. I understand that every reasonable effort is being made at local level to resolve the existing disputes.
The other information requested by the Deputy, in so far as it is available in the Department, is set out in a tabular statement which, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to circulate with the Official Report.
Following is the statement:
Rent Disputes as at 30th May, 1972.
*Ther are two disputes in Dublin city. The first dispute is confined to part of one housing estate and is against the assessment of overtime and bonus payments under differential rent schemes: the second dispute is in opposition to an increase of 4p per room per week effective from the 24th April, 1972, in the rent of certain low rented dwellings. Information as to the amount due to the corporation in the latter dispute is not available in the Department.
Mr. L'Estrange Mr. L'Estrange
 Mr. L'Estrange: Is the Leas-Cheann Comhairle aware that the Minister for Defence was in the building all the time this evening but refused to come into the House to answer questions because he was afraid to face Deputy Blaney who had tabled questions? The result was that his Parliamentary Secretary had to answer the questions for him.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle Denis Francis Jones
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The remaining questions will appear on the Order Paper for Wednesday, June 7th, 1972.
Dáil Éireann 261 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Rent Strikes.