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This is my message to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, in advance of the Budget.
Now that the Central Bank has issued its guidelines for new mortgages — an applicant must have a minimum of 20% of the price of the home — home ownership will now be beyond most people.
The Central Bank has played into the hands of ruthless property speculators. Under the proposed conditions, these speculators will be able to command whatever rent they like.
We must declare war on these speculators:
1. All homes that are not the permanent residence of the property-owner be deemed commercial investments and liable for at least the equivalent of domestic rates. My home, which is a standard size, would yield a rate of €1,895 if this rule was applied.
2. Bring in a national, maximum rent. I would suggest an annual rate of €7 p/a, per square foot.
3. All rental income to be liable for D.I.R.T.
This tax to be deducted from the rent payable by the tenant, and collectable by the Government in the following way: By deduction of tax credits from the tenant, if that person is employed, or by deduction from welfare benefits, if the tenant is unemployed.
If the above were to be applied, it would drive down property prices and make home purchase a little more achievable.
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