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Sinn Féin will consign property tax to the rubbish bin of history

12 June, 2013 - by Brian Stanley TD

Speaking during the Dáil debate tonight on the Sinn Féin bill to repeal the property tax, the party’s spokesperson on environment, community and local government, Brian Stanley TD, said:

“The Local Property Tax is unjust, unfair and will be rubbished if Sinn Féin is elected to government at the next general election.”

Deputy Stanley continued:

“Sinn Féin has opposed the local property tax since it was first introduced by this government. We have actively campaigned against it, but unfortunately this government appears not for turning.

“We are introducing this bill in an attempt to encourage government TDs to do the right thing and to support the repeal of the family home tax.

“If we fail in our endeavours tonight then we will continue to campaign against it at every opportunity. In fact we have promised that if elected to government Sinn Féin will repeal this tax.

“It will be a priority for us in government. No ifs, no buts, we will consign this tax to the rubbish bin of history where it rightly belongs.

“The conservative parties have become the coalition of the confused. Fianna Fail was in favour of the property tax and now it’s not, Fine Gael was against it and now support it and Labour cannot make up its mind.

“The family home tax is simply a tax too far. This government appears not have any threshold beneath which they will not go to protect the rich in our society.

“The rich should be asked to pay more. Let us take Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. Michael’s country manor in Co Westmeath, is reported to be valued between €150 - €200,000, this makes poor Michael liable pay €157 for this year.

The Sunday Times in October 2012 valued his net worth at €418.73 million making him the 20th richest person in Ireland. But he will be paying the same home tax as a pensioner, lone parent or someone on disability.

“The property tax, be it from Fianna Fail, Fine Gael or Labour punishes everyone equally, but those on lower income feel the pain a lot more that the super-rich like Michael O’Leary.

“A far more equitable and efficient way of providing funding to local government services is through the public exchequer. This requires a reform of the tax system.

“Sinn Féin is calling on this government to do what other countries have done and introduce a wealth tax. It is fair and based on the ability to pay. It would mean a one per cent tax on income and assets above €1 million. This alone would raise up to €800 million.”

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