Homes that have suffered flood damage as a result of adverse weather should have their property tax waived under new proposals from Fianna Fáil.

Party Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming has said “it’s simply unfair to ask families who have been washed out of their homes and suffered huge damage to their personal possessions to continue to pay property taxes while they try to get back on their feet.”

Deputy Fleming moved an amendment on the issue in the Dáil today during the debate on the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) No.2 Bill.

Deputy Fleming commented: “Thousands of people have been affected by disastrous flooding across the country this year.  Many face the prospect of not being able to spend Christmas in their own homes.  I don’t believe we can realistically say to these families that they must continue to be burdened with property taxes on homes they can’t live in or have to spend months repairing because of huge flood damage.

“The Government is a position now to demonstrate a measure of compassion and give important relief for flooded homeowners.  Under the Fianna Fáil proposals homes hit by flooding would be able to get relief from the property tax.  We also believe there should be a commercial rates relief applied for businesses and self-employed people who have been flooded, who have suffered damage property, stock and loss of earnings because of a prolonged closure through no fault of their own.

“It would fly in the face of basic common sense to continue to expect homeowners who are trying to salvage what’s left of their family possessions to pay their property tax bill again in the new year.  There is scope for the Government to act here and this should be taken on as a matter of priority.  We have amendments being made to the property tax legislation to provide relief for homeowners in unfinished estates and also those who have suffered pyrite, so why would there not be a compassionate exemption on the basis of flood damage?”