Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Peadar Tóibín has accused the government of prioritising NAMA debt management over job creation.
Deputy Tóibín made the remakrs after a meeting with Minister Brian Hayes to discuss the excessive rents paid by the Office of Public Works to private landlords.
Following the meeting Deputy Tóibín said: “The government pays out €98.5 million per year for the rental of office space from private landlords. Of this a staggering €53 million per year is tied into leases with clauses that can only be negotiated upwards. As a result the state is paying €10 million more than it would if upward only rents were abolished. It is also the case that substantial figures are paid to developers and landlords that are now under NAMA.
“The on-going cost of NAMA to the State has been disastrous. Taxpayers are in hoc for developer debt write down and the state is paying €10 million over the odds on upward only rents. These same upward only rents act as a competitive disadvantage to struggling individual businesses and the frozen commercial property market is unable to find its floor.
“The programme for government promised to end upward only rent agreements because of the impact they have on our competitiveness. The government has told us that they have legal opinion that the issue cannot be addressed; however this is disputed by others in the legal profession.
“This crisis cannot be left unaddressed. The government need to bring forward proposals to honour their election and programme for government commitments to end upward only rent agreements,” he said.