Fianna Fáil will hold a public meeting in south Dublin tonight calling for an urgent review of the current inheritance tax regime, which heavily penalises Dublin families.

The meeting, hosted by Dublin Rathdown candidate Senator Mary White, will take place at Mount Merrion Community Centre at 7.30pm. Guest speakers Cora O’Brien of the Irish Tax Institute and tax advisor Kenneth Garvey will provide an overview of the current inheritance tax rules and the implications for families.

Speaking in advance of the meeting Senator White commented, “In the last four years the number of people liable for inheritance tax has rocketed by 34%. The dramatic reduction in the thresholds has heavily penalised ordinary families in Dublin who are being hit with huge tax bills when they inherit even a modest family home.

For example, an only child who this year inherits their parents’ home worth €350,000 would be forced to pay a hefty €41,250 inheritance tax. If they had inherited a home of the same value in 2011, they would have paid just €4,479 in tax. Their tax liability has jumped nine fold.

“We are now in a situation where people who are far from wealthy are being forced to sell the home they inherit in order to meet their tax bill. It is deeply unfair on Dublin families in particular, at a time when a modest family home in most areas of the city now exceeds the low threshold of €225,750.

“I believe we need an urgent review of this highly discriminatory inheritance tax regime. The thresholds were originally reduced to reflect the fall in property prices but they have not been adjusted back up since property prices in Dublin began to rise again. The current inheritance tax levels have been described as an opportunistic ‘grab’ by the government. The Labour Party sold this as a ‘wealth tax’, but the reality is that it is ordinary families who are by no means wealthy that are the worst hit.

“This meeting is about providing information and advice to people who are facing inheritance tax bills or who are worried about the bills that their children will face when they pass on the family home. I am encouraging anyone who has questions or concerns to come along.”