Kerry families can’t afford hefty property taxes – Daly

 Kerry Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has called on the Government to be honest with householders about the property taxes they are facing next year.

Senator Daly has said that families across Co Kerry who are already at the pin of their collar cannot afford to pay hundreds of euro in extra taxes from next year.  His comments follow reports that the Government has made a deal with the troika to introduce a property tax based on market value from January.

“I have spoken to many homeowners in Kerry who are genuinely worried about how they will pay these new property taxes from next year,” said Senator Daly.

“Once again the Government has caused great distress and confusion by reportedly agreeing a deal with the troika behind closed doors, instead of being upfront and honest with householders.  Have they learned nothing from the household charge fiasco? The Government’s failure to communicate properly with public and to introduce a fair system based on people’s ability to pay resulted in unnecessary chaos.

“A property tax based on value would be very unfair on householders, particularly at a time when it is extremely difficult to provide a real assessment of property values in the Kerry. A system like this fails to take into account the extent of the mortgage crisis which is growing every day.  The latest CSO figures published this week show that 10.9% of all mortgages are in arrears of more than 90 days. Does the government expect homeowners in Kerry who are serious in serious mortgage difficulty to pay hundreds of euro a year in property taxes?

“This government should be honouring its promise to focus on cutting spending such as the introduction of new pay ceilings fro CEO’s of semi state bodies and senior public servants. While they have introduced a pay cap of €200,000, many consultants are still earning well over this pay cap in the Health and Higher education sector. Similarly the government promised to abolish 145 Quangos, this promise was a cornerstone of their election campaign and needs to be implemented now, they have highlighted 48 to be cut for 2012.

In their election manifesto 5 point plan, Fine Gael said by reducing government spending they would save €5 Billion. If they fully implemented these strategies, they could avoid this burden on householders.

“The Environment Minister Phil Hogan has been sitting on an expert report about property taxes for some time now and so far has failed to make it public.  I am urging him to publish this without delay, so that people can see for themselves the options that are available. After the mess over the household charge, homeowners deserve some honesty from the Government about what is coming down the line.   People who are struggling to pay their mortgages and other household bills need to know what else they have to budget for next year.”

Senator Daly holds a BSc in Estate Management from Greenwich University and a Diploma in Property Evaluation and Estate Agency from Dublin Institute of Technology

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