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McDonald challenge Labour leader on Family Home Tax

7 March, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD asked Labour Leader and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD if he stood over his government’s decision to instruct revenue to deduct unpaid Family Home Tax from social welfare payments, wages, Bank accounts, credit union accounts.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Letters from revenue are due to land in the homes of 1.6 million householders demanding payment of a tax on their family home over the next week or so.

“This is a tax that takes no account, of ability to pay, of those in negative equity, those who paid stamp duty or the 180,000 families in mortgage distress.

“This is a tax proposed by Fianna Fáil and implemented by Fine Gael and Labour.

“There are no waivers and the exemptions are a joke.

“The Family Home Tax is a draconian piece of legislation which takes no regard of the impact it will have on families trying to put food on their table or to heat their homes.

“Fine Gael and Labour are pursuing a policy which will drive people even further into debt.

“What approach will the Labour leader take in the event of non-payment? Will government move to deduct this tax from people’s social welfare, from wages, from their Bank accounts, from their Credit Union accounts?

“Is this how out of touch the Labour party are with the reality of the lives of ordinary citizens that they resort to taking money from the credit union accounts?

“Hundreds of thousands of others in mortgage arrears, unemployed or simply struggling month to month will feel it acutely. People are already carrying a great burden which in many cases is unsustainable.

“This is clear from the mortgage arrears crisis, high rates of unemployment and extraordinary levels of emigration. On that basis how can Government justify pursuing the Family Home Tax and putting their hands into the social welfare payments, the wages, the bank accounts, the credit union accounts of those who simply can’t afford it?” ENDS

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