Lobbyist faults lack of action on arrears

Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 00:00

ReactionA leading campaigner for homeowners in mortgage distress said the modifications to the property tax offered nothing to “a huge cohort who are in arrears on the properties they are now to be taxed on”.

David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation said the changes published yesterday would offer “minuscule relief” to small groups of people.

He said that even people who would have to avail of personal insolvency legislation would not be fully exempt from the new tax.

“There is talk of people who have nothing having their property tax postponed but not written off. All people are getting from the Government here is take, take, take.”

Missed chance

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath accused the Government of missing a chance to make the tax fairer by linking it to a homeowner’s ability to pay.

Peter Vale, a tax partner at Grant Thornton, welcomed relief for people in local authority or housing association homes and asked whether it was “an early sign of a period of increased largesse on the part of the Minister”.

Ed Carey, chairman of the residential agency professional group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors, said: “Bringing a sense of fairness and equity into the introduction of this tax was essential and some of the concessions announced will go some way to alleviating the financial pressures on those in dire financial circumstances.”