Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen TD has reiterated Fianna Fáil calls for the revaluation of properties to be suspended until at least 2020 and criticised the Government for continuing to ignore the property tax bombshell that is in store for many thousands of families.

Deputy Cowen commented, “Fianna Fáil has consistently pointed to the crippling tax increases that many families will face over the next couple of years due to rising property prices. Despite our warnings the Government has set its face against any change to the property tax regime.

“Media reports today demonstrate that awareness of this problem is growing across the country and people are beginning to realise that they could be facing crippling property tax increases from next year if their area happens to have seen any improvement in property prices. The design of the property tax regime has been flawed from day one.  The link to property prices makes little sense and it takes absolutely no account of people’s ability to pay.

Deputy Cowen went on to highlight how Fianna Fáil has put forward concrete proposals to assist homeowners and address the flaws associated with the LPT.

“In April of this year Fianna Fáil published a detailed review of the LPT. In that review we spelled out the problems with the Government’s model and spelled out an immediate and radical overhaul. Just last week Fianna Fáil introduced legislation in the Dáil to begin this process of overhauling the LPT.

“Our proposals will result in the planned revaluation of the amount of tax to be paid being deferred from next year as households simply cannot absorb any further increases. We are also proposing that the existing property tax bands should continue to apply until at least 2020.

“We are further pursuing the introduction of a tax credit to be provided to apartment owners who live in a managed complex in recognition of the cost of services ordinarily provided by the local council. This credit would amount to up to 20% of an apartment owners LPT liability, up to a maximum of €300 in cases where the owner has paid their management fee in full.

“It is clear that the LPT hike will cause significant hardship for very many people. Fianna Fáil has published sensible and costed proposals to mitigate the worst excessives of the tax – we would call again on the Government to support these proposals and give people some peace of mind.”