Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Tánaiste to withdraw the Labour party’s support for the government’s proposed property tax.
Deputy McDonald said:
“Fine Gael and Labours plan to tax the family home is straight out of Fianna Fáil’s four year plan. The government is continuing to implement the brutal austerity plan Fianna Fáil put in place. Of course Fianna Fáil has had a Pauline conversion on their Road to Damascus and they are now opposing their own policies.
“We’re dealing with the consequences of a burst property market. People have been ripped off paying for houses which have dropped massively in value.
“Young couples are left raising children in one or two bedroom apartments or in houses too small for them. There are 160,000 families in mortgage distress. People have paid thousands in stamp duty. Then Labour and Fine Gael come along and slap a tax on their family home.
“Labour should be ashamed of themselves. Why on earth would the Labour party continue to pursue Fianna Fáil policies that place the burden of the crisis on the squeezed middle?
“The Irish league of Credit Unions survey shows that 1.85 million people have €100 or less left over at the end of each month. How are people supposed to pay an additional tax of €400 or €500?
“Where are the exemptions for those who simply cannot pay? A deferral is not a waiver. Where’s the exemption for those on negative equity, for pensioners, for those only able to afford to pay the interest on their mortgages, for those who are struggling to get by as it is.
“This is not about broadening the tax base. This is about hitting the same people once again who have borne the brunt of this recession. This is nothing short of an attack on Ireland’s squeezed middle and I am asking the government to withdraw this tax on family homes.”