Landlords would be banned from selling their property for at least six years if they avail of tax breaks being considered as part of the budget.
With the number of properties available to rent at record lows, the Government is working on measures to incentivise landlords.
However, it is understood that some in Government, including Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien, are adamant that landlords would have to stay in the rental market for around six years in order to avail of any tax reliefs.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has also suggested that measures for landlords and tenants may not form part of next month’s budget, despite stating last week that he is in favour of tax reliefs for both groups.
“I very much have the view that we need to make sure that there are more properties available for rent, whether that’s rental properties, or whether it’s cost rental properties which are provided by Government,” he told reporters in Clontibret, Co Monaghan, yesterday.
“I’d never take the view that the budget is the only time when the Government can take action. You know, we take action on any number of issues before budget day, on budget day and after budget day, so I don’t think things necessarily have to be tied to that particular announcement.”
The Tánaiste also warned that people may be disappointed if they listen to all of the mounting budget speculation.
He said various measures that have already been flagged may not form part of September’s budget, but said that there will be increases in pensions and other welfare payments as part of a welfare package as well as a tax package for workers.
“There are any number of options on the table, any number of suggestions that have been put forward, and none of them are actually being considered by Government yet, and that won’t happen for another couple of weeks,” he said.
Mr Varadkar said that the Government has made “no promises”.
“I think sometimes what happens is when options are put forward, for example, by officials, in the tax strategy group papers, or when NGOs put forward proposals when it comes to increasing welfare, they’re often misinterpreted or misreported as promises,” he added.
“I’m happy to clarify that absolutely no promises whatsoever have been made in relation to the budget.”
He also appeared to play down a new 30% rate of income tax which he floated in recent months.
“It’s just an option. It has only ever been an option and an option which can be considered by Government between now and budget day.
“It hasn’t been considered by Government yet, and we’ve had no substantive discussions about it at this stage. So it’s just an option.”
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys also refused to speculate on a €15 weekly increase in pensions and other social welfare payments.
“I’d want to be an octopus to hold onto all the kites that are being flown at the minute in terms of my department, but I will engage with my colleagues across Government.
“I’m not going to speculate — there’s no point in adding to speculation and giving people information that’s not correct,” she said.