Capital gains tax on the family home


Sir, – Already, the news that the Department of Finance is looking at ending the capital gains tax exemption for people’s principal private residence is causing a strong backlash (Front page, August 2nd).

Typically this is presented as an attack on people who worked hard and paid their mortgage – as if those who rent don’t work hard.

Some commentators have claimed that it will prevent people moving for work – however allowances for those buying elsewhere are trivial to implement.

Notably the country with most geographic mobility, the United States, imposes capital gains tax for those who do not rebuy within two years, subject to a $250,000 allowance for single taxpayers and double that for couples.

People have made extraordinary gains over the past couple of decades – the notion that the beneficiaries should escape taxation and allow the burden of caring for our ageing population fall on to the younger generation now trying to get on the “housing ladder” is a profoundly selfish and economically dubious proposition. – Yours, etc,


Dublin  8.