The new property home tax is draconian, anti-family double taxation, which represents a blunt and brutal assault on family incomes with no sense of fairness or equity, Independent Deputy Seamus Healy told the Dáil.
When in Opposition, he quoted the current the Taoiseach Enda Kenny who said: “It is morally wrong, unjust and unfair to tax a person’s home,” with which I agree. However, he had now done a U-turn on this issue.
“Families have been hammered by this and the previous Government,” he said. “They are being forced to pay for a recession the creation of which they had no hand, act or part in, and to pay this tax. These are the same families whose PRSI, child benefit and back-to-school clothing and footwear payments were cut in the recent budget. Many of these families have also had their respite care grants cut. It is not they that will not pay this tax; they cannot pay it.”
Deputy Healy said a recent credit union survey indicated that 1.85 million people in this country have less than €100 per week left after essential bills have been paid; 630,000, or 18% of people, have no money left and 245,000, or 7%, have less than €20 left after paying essential bills, while 42% of people have had to borrow money during the past 12 months to pay bills.
“These are the families that are being asked to pay this shameful and disgraceful tax,” he added. “They are the same families who are in mortgage distress and whose homes are in negative equity. They are the same families who paid enormous stamp duty on their homes and who are paying management fees at disgracefully high rates to management companies in this city and in other cities and towns.”