Only cosmetic housing fixes in Budget 2024
- Tax breaks for landlords with crumbs for renters
- Half-hearted attempts to tackle vacancy
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has slammed the housing measures announced in Budget 2024.
Deputy Bacik said:
“The paltry housing package announced by this conservative coalition is nothing short of pathetic, and the fixes proposed are only cosmetic. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have caved in to the demands made by the landlords, at a time when renters are too afraid to speak out for fear of losing the roof over their head.
“This is the first Fianna Fáil Budget in over a decade, but some things never change. At a time when rents are skyrocketing, Minister McGrath announces tax breaks worth €160 million per year for landlords – without any evidence this will help to improve conditions for renters.
“It’s incredible that this Government think we should treat the taxation of working people differently to the income generated from rental properties owned as investments. It is fundamentally wrong that people paying rent will now be paying more tax on their income than landlords.
“What’s more, introducing this landlord tax break will do nothing to address the spiralling cost of rent and the chronic levels of tenancy uncertainty which are the primary drivers of the crisis in the rental sector and of the appalling numbers of people and children in homelessness.
“The tacked on at the last minute measures on vacancy are simply inadequate. To get to grips with the scale of the vacancy and dereliction problem nationwide, a scourge on all our communities, Labour called for the Vacant Homes Tax to be 10 times the Local Property Tax with a €2,000 minimum charge. What’s been announced today will be ineffectual in driving the change that we need to get houses back into supply.
“10,200 new HAP / RAS tenancies were announced – whilst continuing the 74,000 existing HAP / RAS tenancies. Just where are these properties coming from? We have no detail on this. It is typical of this Government, there’s plenty of rhetoric and very little substance in these Budget proposals on housing.”