Parties clash on property tax hit

by Gazette Reporter
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Fianna Fail housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien said Fingal County Council were being "constrained" in their attempts to alleviate the housing crisis

A war of words has broken out between two local representatives this week after claims that the Government has failed to address issues relating to people’s inability to pay the family home tax.
Fianna Fail Senator Darragh O’Brien has launched an argument against the Labour and Fine Gael parties, claiming that they have failed to realise the huge impact the property tax will have on Fingal residents.
Reacting to the comments, local Labour TD Brendan Ryan has branded the claims as “hypocrisy”.
The claims come in the aftermath of a recent survey carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions, which showed that 1.6 million working adults are surviving on €50 or less after paying their bills each month.
Senator O’Brien stated that the results show “the folly of the Government’s new family home tax which will hit thousands of homeowners in Fingal”.
“Homeowners simply don’t have the money to pay a tax on the family home. Ability to pay is a major issue and it’s just being ignored by the Government.
“Government TDs in Fingal, Minister Reilly, Deputy Alan Farrell and Deputy Brendan Ryan pushed this tax through despite the fact that homeowners in Dublin will be paying up to five and six times the level of tax that will be applied to the same modest homes around the country,” he continued.
“If Government TDs in Fingal now genuinely believe the property tax is unfair, they must admit their mistake in voting for it and take action to help homeowners,” he concluded.
In response, Deputy Ryan said he found the attack on himself and other members of the current Government “incredible”.
“Senator O’Brien and Fianna Fail are engaging in a total optics exercise and pursuing the most cynical form of opposition politics. The fact remains that it was the Fianna Fail government of which Darragh O’Brien was a member which had to bring in the IMF, and which signed us up to a four-year programme which included a property tax.
“The fact is, I was due to speak on this matter with respect to the helping hard-pressed homeowners during the Budget debate, but I was denied the opportunity due to cynical time-wasting tactics from the opposition. It’s no wonder that politics is being discredited in the public mind with this kind of hypocrisy. If Fianna Fail want to regain the trust of the people of Fingal, then they’ll need more than cynical statements and exercises in optics.”

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