Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Finance Bill 2017: Report Stage (Resumed) (Continued)
 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2017: Messages from Select Committees
 Header Item Finance Bill 2017: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 962 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

  7 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty] All of those issues can be resolved. If there had been willingness, those issues could have been resolved. Maybe it is too late given the late stage we are at in dealing with the Finance Bill. I must flag, however, that the approach being taken is wrong. The Department, through a direction from the Minister, should have stipulated that the CGT four-year exemption should only have been for land. As with the I-RES, we were able to create a whole new definition of companies that hold property. We could have done the same thing for those assets that would comprise land alone. That is my main concern. That is why I want a report and monitoring. I want to see the impact of somebody selling a hotel. We do not see the impact but people will seriously benefit from my amendment financially.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe: Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I will most certainly be monitoring the impact of this change because it is an important policy change. Unlike Deputy Paul Murphy, I believe in the value of a mixed economy.

Deputy Paul Murphy: Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy There is not much mix, is there?

Deputy Paschal Donohoe: Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe There is a mixed economy. Next year, we will see both public and private housing delivered, although we need more supply.

I believe in ensuring we have the right policies in place at each point in the development of the housing market. This is why the change is the right one to make. It has the objective of trying to increase supply. I have explained to Deputy Doherty why we cannot separate the definitions of "land" and "building". It is not a matter of there being no will. Significant issues arise in respect of separating the definitions. If I were to try to make the separation, it could actually undermine the implementation of this policy. I expect the policy to have a material effect next year. As I said, I will most certainly be monitoring its impact in 2018.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty I want to pursue this issue but it is important that the Department and the Minister carry out monitoring. I hope the Minister will be able to provide us, through the Revenue Commissioners, with some type of report or data, even if not complete, that would be sent to the finance committee or budgetary oversight committee in advance of next year’s budget to give us some indications or trends. Thus, there would be more than just a ministerial assessment of this measure.

  Amendment put and declared lost.

Debate adjourned.

Estimates for Public Services 2017: Messages from Select Committees

Acting Chairman (Deputy Bernard J. Durkan): Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan The Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence has completed its consideration of the following Supplementary Estimate for public services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2017 - Vote 35.

The Select Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection has completed its consideration of the following Supplementary Estimate for public services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2017 - Vote 37.

Finance Bill 2017: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage

Deputy Paul Murphy: Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy I move amendment No. 51:

In page 47, after line 35, to insert the following:
"Chapter 7

Financial Transaction Tax
34. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, bring a report on the potential additional income that would be raised by imposing a Financial Transaction Tax.".

I will be extremely brief in discussing the next couple of amendments because I do not believe there is any point in forcing us to stay here for hours more than necessary. We are not going to convince the Minister. Amendment No. 51 is to call for a report on the potential income that would be raised by imposing a financial transaction tax. All the indications are that the revenue raised would be heading towards €1 billion. The European Commission is in favour of such a tax, as are many of the European states. It would be charged at a rate of 0.1% on transfers of shares and 0.1% on derivatives, but the Government will not countenance it because it touches in some small way on the interests of finance capital.

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I outlined my reasons for opposing this amendment on Committee Stage. I will continue to oppose it and am not in a position to accept it.

  Amendment put and declared lost.

Deputy Paul Murphy: Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy I move amendment number 52:

In page 47, after line 35, to insert the following:
"Chapter 7

Landlords’ Tax
35. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, bring a report on abolishing the Local Property Tax and replacing it with a Landlords’ Tax of €600 per annum on a second home and €1000 per annum on a third and all subsequent homes.".

Again, I will not take a long time discussing this amendment. We are calling for a report on abolishing the local property tax, which is in reality a home tax, and replacing it with a so-called landlords' tax of €600 per annum on a second home and €1,000 per annum on a third and all subsequent homes. The tax would not raise enough to cover the entire cost of scrapping the local property tax but it would cover over half that cost. I do not believe the Minister will accept the amendment.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe: Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I have already debated elements of this amendment with the Deputy and I am not in a position to accept it.

  Amendment put and declared lost.

Deputy Paul Murphy: Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy I move amendment No. 53:

In page 47, after line 35, to insert the following:
"Chapter 7

Millionaire’s Tax
36. (1) The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, bring a report on additional revenue that would be raised by introducing a Millionaires’ Tax of 2 per cent on net wealth exceeding €1 million.

(2) The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, compile a national database on the distribution of wealth and assets.".

This is a proposal for a millionaires' tax. There are wealth taxes in other countries in Europe. They are not of the scale of the proposed millionaires' tax. We heard in the past week or so about the 13,000 who have become dollar millionaires in Ireland over the course of the past year. My figure is a euro millionaire figure so it would not be quite so large, but presumably not far off. The numbers of millionaires and homeless people are increasing simultaneously. We believe we should be taxing the wealth of the very wealthiest in society with a tax such as the millionaires' tax.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe: Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I have already outlined the reasons I could not support this amendment. It does not take account of the ability of individuals to move in and out of our State. We already have a highly progressive tax system in which those who have more pay more. For those reasons, I cannot accept the amendment.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett We have had this debate often and we will have it again. A survey was carried out recently that showed that eight people out of ten in the country want to see a wealth tax. Therefore, the Minister might consider it, even in the interest of what the majority of people want. The people want it particularly because the level of household wealth has grown by 51% since the trough in 2013. The top 10% own 53% of it. The number of millionaires has increased exponentially and it would be entirely justified to tax them.

Even setting aside our differences on that, does the Minister not believe we should have a database on wealth distribution? In this sort of debate, we often end up saying a tax would not raise that much and that it is all pie in the sky. We should have a proper database on the distribution of wealth rather than just the aggregate figures that are available through the Central Bank or CSO. Would that not be a way to assess whether the proposed tax would be useful? We are convinced it would be. The tax would be a fair one the objective of which would be to share the wealth in Irish society. A database would help to provide evidence on which to base a serious discussion given that many people believe the proposed tax should be considered.


Last Updated: 12/02/2020 15:04:55 First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page