Revenue should collect derelict site levies – Nash

27 June 2024
  • Government is enabling rogue property owners to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions today, Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash has called for a swift change of approach to tackle the nationwide dereliction scandal.

Deputy Nash said:

“There are nearly 2,000 registered derelict sites in towns and villages across Ireland with over €20 million in uncollected levies. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cancer of abandoned, dilapidated and dangerous buildings that blight our urban centres.

“Labour is calling on Government to empower the Revenue Commissioner to collect the monies associated with the Derelict Sites Levy to take serious action against property owners who are being let ride roughshod over Ireland’s housing crisis.

“We know that the Derelict Sites Levy is rarely if ever collected, and owners often ignore collection notices.

“If a debt is not paid to Revenue and you are not tax compliant, you cannot run your business.

“In the interest of the public good, it’s time to take on those who are hoarding vacant and derelict sites and put in place a comprehensive plan to tackle dereliction, collect money, to make it difficult for those who hold all the wealth, and to ensure that sites are redeveloped or put up for sale to someone who wants to put them back into use.

“Compulsory Sales Orders are part of Scottish law and we should follow suit.

“When it comes to dereliction, many owners of these sites will put up hoardings or screenings as a fig leaf when first challenged, to stop the building being visible from the public realm. Bizarrely, this can make them compliant with the Act. There is no incentive – either carrot or stick – to turn these sites into homes.

“While we are all well aware of the Croi Conatih refurbishment grant, that isn’t a solution here. There are also major problems with that grant due to the lack of interim payments, and short time available to complete works.

“The grant helps those who have enough money to carry out the work in the first place, excluding the majority of people who are at the rough end of the housing crisis.

“There’s no shortage of policy statements and press releases form the Government whether it’s the refurbishment grant or the Town Centre first policy. But without giving councils the powers and resources they need, nothing will change. We need a comprehensive plan to tackle dereliction.”

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