Wicklow Sinn Fein County Councillor John Brady had stated that Fianna Fáil are not credible on property tax as they proposed it in Government and are opposing it in opposition. In Fianna Fáil's National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 they proposed a property tax, watercharges, significant reductions in frontline public sector workers, the recruitment moratorium, increasing the student contribution fee, massive cuts to social welfare supports were all measures. Much of these issues are in fact currently been perused by Labour and FineGael.
The Sinn Féin Councillor said " I find it very amusing to listen to Fianna Fáil and the hypocrisy they are spouting on the issue of property tax. Much of the policy measures currently pursued by FineGael and Labour were in fact already committed to by Fianna Fáil in government. Fianna Fáil’s National Recovery Plan 2011 –2014 included a property tax, water charges, significant reductions in frontline public sector workers, the recruitment moratorium, increasing the student contribution fee, massive cuts to social welfare supports were all measures".
Brady went onto say "Micheál Martin was a member of the cabinet who signed off on all of them before Fianna Fáil were kicked out of power. For Fianna Fáil to come out now and say they are opposed to the tax is pure opportunism and it simply doesn't wash with the public. Fianna Fáil are simply not credible on property tax. They proposed it in Government and are opposing it in opposition. When they say ‘wrongtime’ they say this because they are now in opposition".
The Wicklow County Councillor continued "Unlike the system in the North of Ireland which has been imposed by Westminister, householders at least get some return for the money they pay there. In the 26 counties people will still have to pay a raft of other stealth taxes along with the property tax, such as refuse collection, water charges, higher motor tax and fire-service charges to name a few. Sinn Féin are working towards breaking the link to Westminster and giving total fiscal control to the Assembly to fundamentally change the system in the North and allow Irish people control their own financial destiny".
Brady concluded “This is not about broadening the tax base. This is about hitting the same people once again who have borne the brunt of this recession. There are 160,000 families with distressed mortgages.It is estimated the average rate of property tax will be around €300 under a self-assessment system. The value of the home will go up in bands of €50,000 and it will be calculated by self-assessment. Householders will pay the rate attached to the nearest €50,000 band, so a house worth €235,000 will pay the rate for all houses between €200,000 and €250,000 of €500. The property tax is expected to range from €200 to €400 for most homeowners. The property tax will be the last straw for struggling householders and will be difficult to implement. Fine Gael and Labours plan to tax the family home is straight out of Fianna Fáil’s four year plan. The government is continuing to implement the brutal austerity plan Fianna Fáil put in place. There is an alternative and Sinn Féin has proposed a wealth tax is both fair and easy to implement".