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Government proposals on 'cuckoo funds' must bring an end to sweetheart tax deals - Mary Lou McDonald

18 May, 2021 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has told Taoiseach Micheál Martin that any government proposals on cuckoo funds must bring an end to the sweetheart tax deals gifted to them by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. 

Ms McDonald said the revelations that the state is ploughing public money into cuckoo funds is a "kick in the teeth for ordinary home buyers, pushed-out of the market and denied affordable housing due to the power of these funds".

The Sinn Féin Leader called for a comprehensive suite of measures to tackle the funds, including taxing the enormous profits they generate from rents. 

Teachta McDonald said:

"The increase in stamp duty must be set high enough to stop the funds buying up family homes. The Tories in Britain set their rate at 15% and they already had to increase it as it was not having the effect they expected. 

"Apartments are family homes too. They cannot be excluded. The reality is that half of all homes built in Dublin last year would be exempted - 6 out of 7 homes in the city would be exempted. 

"Your government cannot wave the flag of surrender and abandon whole communities to investment funds, not just in Dublin City Centre but in Poolbeg, Cherrywood and Clonburris.

"This would consign an entire generation to paying extortionate rip off rents long into the future, unable to buy their own homes as these funds grow their profits.

"The government must also go beyond stamp duty. These funds will simply spread the cost of the increase across their long term investments. That is why the Government must tax the enormous profits they generate from rents. 

"One fund - IRES - one of the biggest landlords in the state - made €75 million in rental income last year and paid absolutely no tax on this income. These funds will continue to do what they are doing as long as this remains the case.

"It is clear that we need a comprehensive suite of measures to stop these funds in their tracks."

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