Property tax may be deducted from social welfare payments

Wednesday 16 January 2013 13.37
Olivia Mitchell said Dublin homeowners will pay up to six times as much as other people
Olivia Mitchell said Dublin homeowners will pay up to six times as much as other people

The Local Property Tax may be deducted at source from payments made to those in receipt of social welfare, according to the terms of a note brought to Cabinet.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton confirmed to her colleagues that deduction at source will be one option for property owners.

However, if another option is chosen and payment is not made, the Revenue Commissioners, who will administer the charge, can move to insist deductions are made directly.

Revenue will have the same powers in relation to those in receipt of agriculture grants and payments.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said his party is launching a campaign to repeal the property tax legislation.

Mr Adams said a campaign to repeal the law is the only effective way to oppose the measure.

He described calls on people not to register for the tax as a "gimmick".

The tax comes into effect this July.

Earlier, a Fine Gael TD said there is a "huge inequity" in the way the tax is being calculated.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Olivia Mitchell said that while she supports the idea of a property tax, her constituents "bitterly resent" the method for calculating it, and do not regard it as fair or reasonable.

The South Dublin TD claimed that the owner of a house in Dublin will pay up to six times more than would be paid on an identical house in another local authority area.

Earlier on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Environment Minister Phil Hogan admitted that the money that is raised by the tax is going to come predominantly from people on the east coast of Ireland and in major urban areas.

He said the principle of equalisation had always been used in taxation, for example, the majority of cars are on the east coast and the majority of motor tax comes from that region.

He said properties in areas that are closer to amenities and services have a higher market value and that is taken into account.

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