Property Tax has utterly failed to boost local services or dampen property market as government claimed it would
In a statement this afternoon, People Before Profit TD for Dun Laoghaire, Richard Boyd Barrett, said, the government decision to, once again, defer changes to the LPT is an admission that property tax is fundamentally unfair and should be scrapped.
Deputy Boyd Barrett added further that the Property Tax had failed completely either to increase funding for local services or dampen the property market – the two major justifications put forward by the Fine Gael/Labour government when it was introduced.
Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that Local Authorities now have less money for local services and amenities than they had prior to the introduction of the LPT because central exchequer funding was slashed at the same time.
The claim that the LPT would discourage property speculation has equally proven to be bogus, as the exact opposite has happened and the property market has spiralled out of control.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was well beyond time to acknowledge the unfairness and regressive nature of this tax and scrap it once and for all.
Local Government and public services need major injection of funding from central government to bring it in line with other European countries; this funding must be based on progressive taxation.
Richard Boyd Barrett said: “As we head towards Local and Euro Elections, the government decision to defer LPT changes, really exposes the cynicism and dishonesty of Fine Gael. They trumpeted this tax as one that would improve funding for local government and services and would guard against property speculation. The exact opposite has happened, there is actually less funding for local services and property speculation has gone out of control. But rather than admit that the whole LPT enterprise has failed in its own terms and is fundamentally unfair they cynically defer punitive property tax hikes until after the upcoming elections. This is the government that has the neck to accuse others of populism.
“For our part, we have been entirely consistent; we oppose regressive taxation and the economic rationale that is used to justify it. We should immediately abolish this unfair and failed tax and increase investment in local and public services through progressive central taxation and in particular by taxing the profiteers and speculators who are making obscene profits from the current housing crisis and paying almost no tax.”