Property tax report to be published on Monday

A REPORT to Government recommending the introduction of property and carbon taxes will be published next Monday.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan briefed the Cabinet yesterday on the contents of the Commission on Taxation report, which runs to over 600 pages.

The Cabinet agreed to release the document into the public domain, and it will be published on the Department of Finance’s website on Monday.

The document, which advises how the taxation system can be overhauled, is expected to heavily influence the nature of the December Budget, together with a separate report by the “Bord Snip” group which identified potential savings in the public sector.

Along with property and carbon taxes, it is thought the commission’s report also recommends the introduction of water charges. In addition, it is understood to suggest taxing Child Benefit and abolishing the artists’ tax exemption, among other measures.

The Government is expected to proceed with the implementation of a carbon tax, in line with the report’s recommendations.

However, Mr Lenihan has already indicated that the proposed property tax and water charges would have to wait, and won’t be introduced in the December Budget.

Explaining why, Mr Lenihan said the taxation burden was “generally high enough” already, and that he would focus for the main part on cutting Government expenditure in the Budget.

It is thought there is nervousness within Fianna Fáil about the potential public backlash to a property tax, in particular – given that some homeowners are in negative equity.

The publication of the commission’s report will likely overshadow Fine Gael’s annual parliamentary party conference.

These conferences are held by every party each autumn to identify priorities and discuss strategy in advance of the new Dáil term.

Fine Gael’s two-day conference kicks off in Cavan on Monday.


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