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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Snippet Contents:

We put forward a host of suggestions for cutting the cost of local government, as the Minister, Deputy Hogan, is well aware. Reform in that area requires cutting out some of the deadwood and reducing the salaries of those at the top and the numbers of directors of services and other senior staff, while at the same time increasing the number of front-line staff. That will save money in both the short and the long term.
There must be a reform of the tax system. We are calling on the Government to do what other countries do, such as introducing a wealth tax or a 48% tax rate on incomes over €100,000. These are some of the same proposals put forward by the Labour Party before it went into government. The Minister for Finance said last night that the family home tax has reference to ability to pay. In truth, there is no such clause or provision, which means the Minister either did not read his own Bill or misled the House. He went on to claim yesterday evening that he was satisfied that the poor and vulnerable would be protected under the terms of this tax. That simply is not true. Payment can be deferred but there is no waiver. Moreover, people who opt to kick the can down the road will be penalised to the tune of 4%. People are terrified of that situation. The poor and the vulnerable will pay the exact same as the Taoiseach and the millionaires in our society. The only option for households that cannot afford to pay the tax is to defer and suffer the 4% charge or ignore it and pay the 8% penalty thereafter.
This is an unjust tax which should be scrapped. What is required instead is a system of progressive taxation. In the meantime, however, the family home tax must be repealed. People cannot wait until the next general election before that is done. I appeal to Deputies on the other side of the House to put their feelings of loyalty to the Government to one side and to vote for our Bill to progress to Committee Stage.