North Leitrim County Councillor, Seán McSharry, believes the prospect of a property tax is going to drive already struggling households deeper into the poverty trap.
Speaking on his motion on property tax at the October Council meeting, Cllr McSharry asked: “How can a government ask homeowners to give an honest evaluation on homes that are in serious negative equity compared to the purchase price valuation?”
Cllr McSharry also pointed out that Co Leitrim “has a sizeable amount of homes in unfinished estates”.
“If the household charge is to be an indicator with over 600,000 as of September 30, failing to register, it therefore, looks certain that the government are intent on repeating the mistakes of the past, by losing the support of its citizens,” he said.
Cllr McSharry pointed out that the IMF’s Draconian taxes have done nothing but squeeze the life out of family homes. It suggested a figure of €600 per household to raise 1 billion and bring Ireland in line with other Eurozone countries. However the Eurozone model cannot be compared to Ireland given that the Eurozone housing market is made up of long term renting.
The government getting praise from the IMF and European leaders is utterly useless to people who are going to be punished with a property tax. With growth forecasts next year going from 2.2% to 1.4% this tax will kill off any hope of a property market revival, he maintained.
Cllr McSharry pointed to the recent comments by the finance ministers of Germany, the Netherlands and Finland that they are not in favour of any banking debt write down which should prompt our government to stand up to Europe. This state cannot afford or implement this tax without causing economic pain on its citizens.
Summing up Cllr McSharry noted that just eight years ago our current Taoiseach, Enda Kenny declared it would be “morally wrong to tax family homes”.