Sinn Féin have challenged the government to act on and end upward only rent clauses that they claim are causing hundreds of jobs to be lost every quarter.
The party's spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Peadar Tóibín said the government were failing to deal with the issue up until now.
‘To date the government has hidden behind the Attorney General’s unseen and unpublished advice that there is a constitutional bar on dealing with the issue.
“The government has been lobbied extensively by the property sector, by landlords’ bodies and developers to maintain upward only rent clauses. Junior Minister John Perry bizarrely replied to my questioning of him last week that Upward Only Rents were not the cause of business closures.
“This at a time when businesses such as B&Q, HMV, La Senza, PC World, Curry's, Black Tie, Pamela Scott, Game, Atlantic Homecare and many others explicitly point to Upward Only Rents as being a major part of the problem.
“Minister Bruton confirmed his complete confidence in Minister Perry despite the fact he contradicted his analyses. Fine Gael and Labour either have another agenda or they are out of touch with enterprise. If as the Minister says that the removal of Upward Only Rents are unconstitutional then the Minister needs to bring forward a constitutional amendment to protect jobs. The Minister continues to refuse that proposal. This is proving to be desperately costly to the economy."