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Saturday 30 August 2014

Burton: 'I want ability-to-pay clause in property tax in the future'

Fionnan Sheahan

Published 21/06/2014 | 19:01

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Labour Party leadership election candidate Joan Burton at the Labour Party hustings in Portlaoise. Photo: Tony Gavin
Labour Party leadership election candidate Joan Burton at the Labour Party hustings in Portlaoise. Photo: Tony Gavin

Labour Party leadership favourite Joan Burton says she wants to see and "ability to pay" clause attached to the property tax into the future.

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The Social Protection Minister was speaking at the latest Labour Party leadership debate in Portlaoise, Co Laois.

Ms Burton said the extreme left in Ireland were the only left-wing grouping against a property tax. But she believed the property tax had to be applied fairly.

"One of the things that has to be done into the future is take some account of ability to pay," she said.

But Ms Burton stressed she was talking about the change at some point in the future and was not mooting it as a policy for this Government.

Her opponent, Alex White, said he was personally in favour of a wealth tax. 

"Tax reform should favour low income and low and middle income people,” he said.

Mr White pointed to a report by the Neven Institute, a left-wing economic thinktank, which has proposed a wealth tax which could raise €150m from a tax of 0.6% on all assets above €1m

The junior health minister said he was again talking about a party policy for the future.

"We are not going to get it past Fine Gael at the moment. But I think it should be part of our policy development running into the next general election,” he said.

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