Abolishing stamp duty in the upcoming Budget could throw a life-line to the property market, builders said today.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) urged a temporary scrapping of the tax to help kick-start residential and commercial sales again.
Tom Parlon, the CIF’s director general, said the levy made no sense at a time when there was little or no activity in the property market.
“Persisting with a high transaction tax when there are no transactions makes no sense, either from the economy’s or the Exchequer’s perspective,” he said.
“Introducing a 0% stamp duty rate may encourage more interest in commercial and residential property transactions and therefore generate additional incomes for the state.”
Mr Parlon said stamp duty should then be ultimately phased out and replaced by an alternative, more reliable and fair tax.
In its pre-Budget submission, the CIF warned further cuts to spending on public infrastructure projects would lead to more job losses next year.
The organisation, which represents builders, contractors and developers, also said action was needed to shut down an emerging black economy in construction.
Rogue builders were costing the state coffers €250m a year in lost taxes, it claims.
The CIF has called for stricter controls to make contractors on any project costing more than €3,000 known to the Revenue Commissioners.