IRELAND'S MINISTER for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, last night survived the second vote of no confidence put forward against him in two years.
The Social Democrats had last week confirmed they would be tabling a motion of no confidence in the minister, citing "a generation of people [who] are now locked out of affordable and secure housing" due to the government's perceived failures.
The TD for Dublin Bay South had condemned the motion as a "stunt" from the Social Democrats, arguing that it "won't build one new home".
Stunt from SocDems won’t build one new home.
50,000 new homes built in last 3yrs - 82% increase between 2016 and 2018.
10,000 new social homes this yr - 11,000 next yr & 12,000 following yr.
17,000 homes for first time buyers with the Help to Buy & RI Home-loan.
— Eoghan Murphy (@MurphyEoghan) November 27, 2019
The vote, which took place in the Dáil last night, decided by a narrow margin of 56 - 53 that Minister Murphy would not be removed from office.
Backing the motion were opposition parties Social Democrats, Sinn Féin, Labour and the Green Party.
But Minister Murphy was saved by TD's from his party, Fine Gael, as well as a number of Independents who voted to assert their confidence in him. Members of Fianna Fáil abstained from the vote.
Addressing the Dáil after the vote, Mr Murphy laid out the government's plans for new homes, with more than 6,000 social housing expected to have been built by the end of 2019.
Next year, the minister said, the government "will build more social housing next year than we have for two decades".
The facts on new homes: pic.twitter.com/sgeU7gKspw
— Eoghan Murphy (@MurphyEoghan) December 3, 2019
While Minister Murphy had been expected to survive the vote, figures published yesterday revealing that the number of homeless people in Ireland were higher than ever before threw the result of the vote into uncertainty.
Just several hours before the vote of no confidence, The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government released a Homelessness Report for October 2019 which showed that -- for the first time ever-- there were over 10,500 people without a home in Ireland.