Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has described as “shameful” Enda Kenny’s defence of ministers claiming a second home tax break.
During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today Deputy Doherty challenged the An Taoiseach to justify Government Ministers writing off thousands of euro from their income tax bill on their second homes while at the same time asking people to pay more tax on their family home.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Last week Michael Noonan revealed that 13 Ministers have claimed the second home tax break known as the dual abode allowance.
“This tax break is exclusively for ministers. It allows those from outside Dublin to write off €6,500 from their tax bill if they have a second home in Dublin without providing a single receipt.
“If they stay in a hotel they can write off €3,500 from their tax bill to cover the cost of laundry and again without providing a single receipt.
“When in opposition Enda Kenny criticised Fianna Fáil for availing of this tax lavish break and promised to abolish it.
“Yet far from abolishing it, since Fine Gael and Labour have taken office the cost of this tax break has jumped by a massive 30% to over €112,000.
“Today I asked the Taoiseach if he was one of the 13 Ministers availing of this tax break and to name which of his Ministers where reducing their tax bill through this scheme?
“I asked him how he could justify, to people who will be hit with the property tax, that it is fair for Government Ministers to write off thousands of euro from their income tax bill on their second homes while at the same time asking people to pay more tax on their family home.
“Enda Kenny’s defence of this tax break was shameful. His failure to answer the question shows just how embarrassed he is by his failure to keep his promise and abolish the tax break. This unjustifiable scam must be abolished.”