Fianna Fáil’s landlord tax breaks won’t address the cause of our housing crisis

04 September 2018

Labour spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has criticised Fianna Fáil’s call for landlord tax breaks as part of budget negotiations. 

Speaking today Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Fianna Fáil’s plan for tax breaks in exchange for longer leases does not address the real causes of our housing crisis. The issue here is tenants’ rights. A tax break for landlords, as opposed to strengthening legal rights for tenants, speaks to Fianna Fáil’s priorities.

“Individual landlords do not operate in the same way as corporate landlords. Giving them a tax break to bring them closer to the tax obligations of a corporate landlord will only serve to help landlords.

“This kind of measure does not address the spiraling cost of rent and tenancy uncertainty which are the primary drivers of the crisis in the rental sector and homelessness.

“There are also questions around the workability of this policy. How could we guarantee that every landlord who avails of this tax break, and then ends the lease early would notify revenue of their decision and refund the tax rebate?

“What is needed is common sense legislation to protect renters such as the Labour Party’s Greater Security of Tenure and Rent Certainty Bill.

“Most people who are being made homeless end up that way because their rents have been hiked or they have been put out of their private rented accommodation because their landlords have said that it is needed for a family member, that the place has to be done up or that it is being sold. The main purpose of this Bill is to address that issue. It is a really urgent and serious situation and this is something that we can do in the shorter term.

“The anxiety and misery endured by families and particularly children has to end.

“The Constitution contains property rights but they are supposed to be balanced with social rights and the needs of the common good. I strongly urge that in the crisis we have with homelessness, the common good needs to be served by giving people the kind of certainty and security that their counterparts in the rental sectors in most neighbouring European states have but which they do not have. The simple legislation we are proposing would address that.”

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