You are viewing the content for Thursday 29 June 2006

Massive mortgages go to tax-exempt tycoons

I WONDER at the way your newspaper, like most others, has been uncritically extolling the so-called health of the Irish property market over the past few years.

On June 27, when the front page contained two remarkable stories, you remained essentially silent.

Let’s see ... apparently the vast majority of Ireland’s millionaires pay almost no taxes on their income because of the extensive property-related tax breaks that various governments put in place — so they get to keep their millions.

Simultaneously tens of thousands of Irish families are increasingly struggling to pay off massive mortgages which represent the millions they borrowed to give to Ireland’s property millionaires because the restricted supply of building land has caused a spike in property prices (and thus a crash in families’ ability to buy a house).

All you do is pass comment on the European Central Bank (ECB) for starting to raise interest rates.

Give me a break, please. You don’t have to look as far as the ECB headquarters for explanations of Ireland’s property madness. Ireland is a democracy.

Look at home. You might even find something.

Hugh Sheehy
Marina 48, 6-A 08005