Vacant Houses Should Be Taxed - Let's Start With 39 Cathedral View, Mullingar, owned by Robert Troy" - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called for a tax on vacant properties to force them back into the market and alleviate the housing crisis.
Speaking today Deputy Tóibín said: "Aontú have been calling for some time for a tax on vacant properties in order to encourage them back into the market. We have over 10,000 people homeless in this country and yet the recent census shows we have 166,000 vacant properties. This is a scandal. We need to tax vacant properties in such a way as to encourage them back into the market. We propose that the revenue generated by such a tax would be offered as grants to homeowners to repair their properties and get them into the rental market".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "Over the last few years FF and FG have argued against our proposal to tax on Vacant Houses. I questioned Minister for Finance Pascal Donoghue numerous times in the Dáil and in the Finance Committee and he has regularly pushed back on the issue. After many years, we are told that there are vague plans to introduce such a policy. But here lies the problems. Ministers and TDs such as Robert Troy have business interests. We learn that Minister Robert Troy owns a property - 39, Cathedral View, Mullingar, which has been vacant for months. In many cases these interests are the opposite of the needs of their constituents who are tenants. There is a clear conflict of interest in the real sense. Many of us have accused the government of this over the years. But here we have a clear concrete example in Minister Troy’s property portfolio. Housing vacancy without a good reason is wrong in a housing crisis. These revelations of late show the government are clearly conflicted in tackling key elements of the housing crisis".
"Serious questions remain about this property which he has been declaring as a rental, despite it being vacant for a number of months. The media have reported that 'he continues to be paid' 780 euro a month from Westmeath County Council, under the RAS scheme, for a 'two-bed townhouse in Mullingar'. Is this in reference to the Cathedral View property? If so how is Mr Troy getting paid for a vacant property? This is where the focus of this discussion needs to be!", concluded Deputy Tóibín