The politician, Paul Murphy, questioned the value of landlords and argued that they are parasitical to the economy.
An electrifying speech questioning the value of landlords has gone viral on social media. It has ignited a frustrated call for change among people. The video features Deputy Paul Murphy speaking at the Irish Parliament in support of a rent reduction bill in 2022. According to the Independent, the bill would establish a National Rent Authority and reduce the rent to a maximum of a quarter of the median monthly household income.
The median would be set on the lower national or local median, but critics who defended the bill noted that no landlords would be left in Ireland. Murphy spoke about the issue and argued that it would not be too detrimental.
In a video clip of the speech that he uploaded on TikTok, Murphy states: “What service do landlords provide? What wealth do landlords produce in this economy? What added benefit is created by having a class of landlords? Nothing. That’s the truth. There is no added benefit to having this layer of corporate landlords in our society. The truth is that landlords — big, corporate landlords, as a class, are parasitical on the economy.”
The politician further added that building a “cost of living and housing movement” would “force concessions out of this government and will, at a certain time, bring this government down and open the possibility of a government that does not govern in the interest of the big corporate landlords, but instead in the interests of ordinary workers.”
Rental prices have hit an all-time high in Ireland and young people face a scary crisis due to housing shortages. In 2022, the cost of rent increased by 12.6% and the average monthly asking price hit around $1,785 due to a chronic supply shortage as small landlords leave the market. Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said of the situation, “Since the current housing and homelessness crisis emerged around 2013, successive Governments have consistently underestimated the scale of the problem and the volume of the resources which are required to tackle it.”
He added, "This is the first time that the aspirations of a government strategy begin to match the massive scale of the problem. This is a welcome starting point, but only time will tell if the increased resources – and the decisions on how they will be deployed – are sufficient to end the crisis."
"What service the landlord provide?"— jp (@nacienmantillao) April 26, 2023
That little thing called housing.
This is a nice speech and really unusual to hear something like this in a parliament. Unfortunately parliaments are not the avenues where these changes are made.— Crossing The Desert🏴 (@CrossTheDesert) April 26, 2023
While the rent reduction bill may have been defeated, Murphy continues to give speeches about the ongoing housing issues in Ireland. In another parliament speech from April 26, 2023, Murphy said that there was a conflict of interest for landlord TDs to vote against it and urged them to abstain from voting that evening, reports The Journal.
“It is obvious to anybody watching this debate that a conflict of interest exists in the case of a landlord Deputy voting against this Bill. If the Bill is passed, it will impact directly on the economic self-interest of landlord Deputies who are charging extortionate rents,” Murphy added.
“I call on all landlord Deputies to do the right thing today and recuse themselves from voting on this Bill and from furthering their own economic and class interests at the expense of the renter class of ordinary working-class people and their families," he added. According to the Irish Times, the increase in market rents around the State was driven by a further tightening in the availability of properties.