Housing crisis and taxation policy
Sir, – Paddy Cosgrave claims in his criticism of the budget that, “Not even Donald Trump dared to go that far in his giveaway to the 1 per cent”, while referencing the decision to restore 100 per cent mortgage deductibility to landlords (“Budget measures will ‘crush’ middle classes, says Web Summit chief”, Business, October 11th).
In the United States, mortgage interest is fully deductible for investors in property and other assets. In fact this is the norm in the western world.
It appears many people do not understand the difference between a mortgage payment and the interest portion of a mortgage payment.
While the Government is free to set a high rate of tax on profits on investments, an investor who borrows to invest in a building or widget-making machine needs to be able to write-off interest on the relevant loan in order for leveraged investment to make sense.– Yours, etc,
Sir, – If the tax relief available to landlords relates to the cost of acquisition of existing dwellings, it serves no purpose in respect of the total housing supply. If such a relief is to persist, it should be restricted to costs associated with the creation of new dwellings, in existing buildings or in new buildings.
There is a case to be made, in justice, for the elimination of all tax reliefs related to the acquisition of property, by landlords or owner-occupiers: such reliefs tend to inflate the cost of the property.
State subvention in relation to property acquisition would be most equitable if confined to tax relief on savings towards a deposit. This measure, coupled with regulatory limits on variable rates of mortgages, would tend to stabilise the market. – Yours, etc,