The government publishes legislation which will abolish stamp duty for those buying a home for the first time.

The legislation, which is to be rushed through the Oireachtas before the summer break, has been criticised by opposition parties who believe it does not go far enough in reforming a tax which they believe is an unfair burden. The system remains unchanged for purchasers other than first-time buyers who purchased property after 31 March 2007.

The legislation was published by Tánaiste and Finance Minister Brian Cowen who argued

First-time buyers are the only people in the property market who don't have equity per se. They don't have an existing house and so therefore, they haven't had the benefit of increased value to that property. So there has always been preferential treatment... given to first-time buyers because it's important that people get their first foot on the rung of the ladder.

Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter says that radical reform is needed on stamp duty which he describes as a penal tax. Labour TD Eamon Gilmore also sees the new legislation as regressive in nature.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 June 2007. The reporter is David McCullagh.