Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen TD has called on the Government to support his party’s campaign to introduce a 15% cut in property tax for homeowners around the country by pledging not to penalise those local authorities which introduce the relief. This would be consistent with the Government’s rhetoric in the run-up to the local elections, claimed the TD.
Deputy Cowen commented: “People on lower and middle incomes are under enormous pressure at the moment, with their lack of disposable income hitting the economy generally. There would appear to be agreement across the political spectrum on this basic fact, with Fine Gael and Labour telling anyone who will listen that they are committed to doing something about it.
“Delivering some extra resource through a 15% reduction in the property tax is an immediate and efficient way of doing this. The test now for the Government parties is whether they will follow through on their pre-election rhetoric and not penalise those counties which follow Fianna Fáil’s lead and take up the option of a tax-cut. It would be totally hypocritical of the government to say that local councils have to fund the 15% reduction in property tax themselves. Particularly so when Labour explicitly promised to deliver a 15% cut and we are proposing it in a year when the government have already doubled the property tax.”
He added: “Fine Gael and Labour Party spin doctors are talking about tax giveaways in the October budget while on the other hand holding councils to ransom and preventing them from introducing the 15% reduction to the property tax. Councillors should not have to choose between cutting disability grants and other vital public services to enable them help families through a reduction in the property tax. People have struggled enough and it is past time that the government realised, broke the habit of its lifetime and actually stood by a promise it made.”