Fine Gael calls for stamp duty reform to deal with housing sector 'mess'


FINE GAEL is calling for stamp duty reforms to deal with what environment spokesman Phil Hogan describes as the “mess” created by the Government in the housing sector.

These include the commencement of Section 110 of the Finance Act 2007, designed to close a loophole for landowners and developers.

Fine Gael would also place a restriction on the exemption from stamp duty on first-time buyers, where the property value exceeds €500,000.

“We would use the proceeds raised by these measures to fund cuts in stamp duty on residential property,” Mr Hogan said.

In the banking sector, “the type of lending which has exacerbated the recent housing boom and put economic stability at risk must be discouraged”, Mr Hogan said.

A State-provided home equity support scheme would finance a certain percentage of the home for applicants who meet the current affordable housing criteria. “Such a scheme would take advantage of the overhang in the property market to provide additional homes for social and affordable housing,” he said.

Fine Gael is also urging a 1 per cent VAT cut, funded by a “windfall tax” on power generation, to stimulate the building sector.