Peter McVerry SJ who campaigns on behalf of people who are homeless has called on the Governement to introduce an Homelessness Act that would give homeless people a legal right to suitable accommodation. “That right was granted to children in the Child Care Act of 1991 and now suitable accommodation is available for almost all homeless children”, he said this week.
“By contrast, the number of homeless adults, and the number forced to sleep on the streets, is rising rapidly.” he noted, a fact confirmed by other charities who also work with the homeless, some of whom have estimated that the number of people sleeping on the streets is double what it was this time last year.
Writing in The Irish Examiner, Peter McVerry also called for the implementation of the 2005 (sic) Mid-term Review of the National Drug Strategy 2001 – 2008 which recommended that “appropriate treatment should be provided to problem drug-users no later than one month after assessment, and that this target should be met by the end of 2007.” According to Fr McVerry, “Today, in some areas, waiting lists can still be 12 months or more. In other areas, there are no waiting lists, as there are no services.”
He also called for a Revenue Transparency Act. “This would provide details of all taxes paid by every individual in the State. Just as the income of every social welfare recipient is transparent, so too should taxes paid, as both involve taxpayers’ money. This might create panic amongst some in our society. It might also increase tax revenue.”