Sinn Féin TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has called on the Government to abandon its plan for a property tax. Deputy Doherty made his call after a parliamentary question he placed to the Finance Minister revealed that the Minister has no plans to abolish stamp duty when he introduces property tax. The Sinn Féin TD said that flaws surrounding the establishment and implementation of the tax are mounting.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The Parliamentary Question returned to me this week confirms that the Government is looking at double taxation – a property tax and stamp duty on ordinary homeowners. If the property tax goes ahead we are looking at a situation where a families either purchasing for the first time or who bought a house several years ago and paid thousands in stamp duty are now being asked to pay a property tax.
“It is truly remarkable that the Government thinks it is acceptable to double tax a family home because it does not have the wit or imagination to come up with fair and workable deficit proposals.
“I am urging this Government to abandon its property tax plan which is looking more and more to be ill thought out, unfair and economically damaging. The administration of this tax will be a bureaucratic nightmare and it is not clear whether Revenue has the capacity to audit that many households to ensure compliance.
“The tax will target householders regardless of how much they owe the bank, negative equity and what stamp duty they’ve paid. And as it will hit disproportionately ordinary middle income families, the money they have to spend in the local economy will be further diminished.
“The tax measures in budget 2013 have to work and work fairly. A wealth tax would target wealth and property above an appropriate threshold and because it is targeted at a smaller number of individuals it’s easier to implement. This is the tax the Government should introduce.”