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Sinn Féin reaffirms commitment to abolish property tax – Reilly

8 December, 2015

Speaking this afternoon in the Seanad on the Local Property Tax Amendment Bill, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly reaffirmed the party’s commitment to abolishing the Local Property Tax (LPT).

Senator Reilly said:

“The LPT is an unfair tax, not only is it unfair, it is also not working. That is why the government is now reviewing it in the Houses of the Oireachtas. However, there is no point in reviewing a tax that is not working, the tax as a whole should be abolished.

“The Thornhill Report, carried out to look at the LPT, outlined how the longer revaluations are left, the harder it is to do them, as the bigger the jump will be in the amount paid. Some projections for example have predicted that by 2019 the average house price will have risen by €68,000 meaning that the average family could see a jump of around €150 in property tax.

“One national newspaper has stated that ‘The local property tax is now on life support and the next government will have to make a quick decision about whether to revive it, or kill it off’. We are opposed to the underlying principles of the property tax. We want the abolition of the Local Property Tax. That is my party’s commitment if elected to government. We have tabled the legislation and it was rejected but it is a firm promise.

“Minister of State, Deputy Simon Harris stated in response to my questioning around the LPT and the Thornhill Report that the implementation of the recommendations of the report would be a matter for the next government, however, he refused to state what Fine Gael proposed to do if in government after the next election nor what Fine Gael’s position is on the LPT coming into the general election.

“It is completely Sinn Fein’s opinion that the LPT is a failed tax and no amount of spin can hide the fact that unless there is a change of government families across this State in mortgage arrears, in negative equity or even struggling to pay mortgages and rent face significantly higher property tax bills within the next few years.

“There is no point in tinkering around the edges of a flawed and failed piece of legislation; the LPT should be repealed in its entirety, an act which would give a massive financial stimulus to those struggling to pay it.” 

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