Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath condemned the government’s decision to cast aside pre-election promises and introduce a punitive charge on the family home as the “wrong tax at the wrong time”.  He said that the decision to push ahead with the tax is a result of neither Fine Gael nor Labour considering the needs of the ‘squeezed middle’ across Irish society.

The government has decided to impose a new .18% tax on the value of the family home up to €1m within €50,000 bands. A home worth €150,000 will be taxed at the rate of 0.18% on €175,000 or at €315 per annum.  A home worth €210,000 will be taxed at 0.18% €225,000 or €405 per annum. An additional .25% rate will apply to properties worth over €1m.

“The government’s proposals for a property tax will hit struggling homeowners at a time when they can least afford it. Now is simply not the time to inflict an unfair Property Tax on a struggling economy, weak housing market and homeowners working to make ends meet. The severely limited range of exemptions will ensure that this tax hits struggling homeowners hard.”

“The average 3-bedroom family home will be charged approximately €315 per annum when the tax comes into full effect. This will push many families struggling to make ends meet as it is over the edge. All the government’s talk about fairness will mean nothing to ordinary homeowners struggling to make ends meet”.

“A property tax is a political decision by this government to break their pre-election promises. Fianna Fáil has put forward a fully costed budget proposal that does not hammer homeowners with a property tax and meets our budget adjustment requirements. The fig leaf measures of a .25% tax on homes worth over €1m will barely cover 16,000 homes in the state. With Labour claiming, and failing to look after those on social welfare and Fine Gael pre-occupied by looking after the highest paid people in the state, there has been no political focus on protecting those in the middle who are stuggling to pay their bills and look after their families.”

“Fine Gael stated before the election that “a recurring residential property tax on the family home is unfair” but that promise has been cast aside with ordinary homeowners left to pay the price for the government’s broken promises. “