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McDonald calls for repeal of family home tax

17 January, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD criticised Labour and Fine Gael for their inaction on mortgage distress since entering government and called on both parties to repeal the family home tax.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“The latest survey from the Irish league of Credit Unions reveals that 1.6 million people are left with €50 or less to spend at the end of each month after they pay their bills. Since October a further 230,000 people have fallen into that bracket as a direct result of the government’s austerity policies. What impact will the dreaded family home tax have on these people?

“The family home tax, a brainchild of Fianna Fáil, will have serious implications for households who are already teetering on the brink. It will especially punish those on low and middle incomes, social welfare recipients and the disabled.

“This punishing tax does not take into account ability to pay, the amount home owners paid in stamp duty or negative equity.

“After nearly two years in office Fine Gael and Labour have done nothing for those in mortgage distress, instead government has chosen to increase mortgage related costs by imposing the family home tax. This is simply a tax too far.

“Where does the government propose struggling home owners will get the money to pay this tax. There are families dependent on social welfare payment, the working poor, even families with two incomes who simply cannot afford to pay. How many more citizens will be pushed over the precipice into unsustainable debt?

“The reality is the family home tax will not be used to pay for services, it will in fact be used to pay interest on bank-related debts. The government intends to extract this money by hook or by crook from families existing on €50 a month or less.

“Do Labour and Fine Gael have any understanding of what people are going through out there in the real world?” ENDS

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