Tax Breaks for Developers are wrong

20 September 2018

On Leaders Questions in the Dáil, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin asked the Tánaiste if the Government plans to bring in special tax cuts for developers and speculators who have been hoarding vacant development land. The Tánaiste wouldn’t confirm or deny the proposal.

Deputy Howlin said:

“One Budget kite floated this week was that Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe is considering a Capital Gains tax break, charging less than half of the regular amount of tax due on sales or development of vacant property. Labour would oppose such a measure.

“The only way to end land hoarding and speculation is to introduce taxes and duties on property owners. Those measures would drive economic activity, entrepreneurialism and risk-taking.

“All over Europe, social democratic market economies place stringent requirements on property owners to maintain and develop their properties.

“Put simply, owners of vacant property should use it or lose it.

“Any serious economic analysis will quickly reveal that tax breaks are the wrong way to boost the supply of housing today

“The Tánaiste wouldn’t confirm or deny such a measure but said the Government would focus on sustainable supply. A tax cut like this would repeat the disastrous mistakes of the 2000s.

“If this Budget is to be about housing then we can’t go down the road of repeating the mistakes of the past.

“The Government is already planning to give public land to developers, and will now it appears, go down the road of tax breaks for developers. Labour will oppose any such giveaway.”

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