Fianna Fáil playing catch up on the property tax – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said today’s statement from Fianna Fáil claiming they’d exposed a bombshell in the Family Home Tax was an embarrassment for the party.
The so-called bombshell was the fact that Local Authorities can increase the rate of the tax from 2015 onwards, something which was made clear in the Dáil during the Family Home Tax Bill and Amendment Bill, when Sinn Féin and others engaged in heated debate about it with Minister Noonan.
Doherty said Sinn Féin was introducing a Bill to repeal the tax; the party’s representatives would seek a mandate in the local election to vote to reduce the tax by the maximum amount in local councils; and that in government Sinn Féin would abolish the tax if the government won't support its repeal now.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The many, many flaws of the property tax were debated by Sinn Féin and the government during the Family Home tax and Family Home tax amendment bill stages, where even members of Fianna Fáil took part.
“The Department of Finance sent a detailed briefing to each member of the Finance Committee in December, of which Sean Fleming is a member, setting out clearly how councils could increase this tax from 1 January 2015. Minister Noonan set it out in committee stage and he set it out again during his second stage speech on the Family Home Tax amendment Bill.
“Sean Fleming and Fianna Fáil were either asleep or not reading their documents during these debates.
“It's interesting that despite all the bluster from Fianna Fáil about this tax, their Ard Fheis refused to commit to abolishing this tax.
“Sinn Féin has promised that in government, we will abolish this tax. We are putting a Bill before the Dáil to repeal, or axe the tax shortly. If the government refuses to support this Bill, we have mandated our councillors to vote against increases to the rate of the tax.
“Our representatives will also seek a mandate during the local elections to reduce the tax by the maximum amount of 15% if they are elected to councils.
“Fianna Fáil wants this tax. They put it on the agenda. They won’t commit to taking it off the table. They are speaking with forked tongues and can't even get their facts straight. This statement is an embarrassment for the party.”