Rabbitte says it is 'fair' for 38,000 in ghost estates to pay property tax
COMMUNICATIONS Minister Pat Rabbitte insisted that it is "fair" to impose the property tax on around 38,000 households who were living in ghost estates.
As a result of a new study of the condition of their estates, just 5,100 out of 43,000 households who were exempt from paying the €100 household charge will be exempted from the property tax.
Mr Rabbitte said the local authorities had examined each unfinished estate "one-by-one" to examine whether households there had access to essential services such as street lighting, pavements and sewage connections.
He said this was the reason why the number of exemptions had dropped from 43,000 to 5,100.
"I regards what the Department of Environment has published as being fair," he said.
But at Leader's Questions, the move was criticised as unfair by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, who said that only one in eight of those who had a property tax exemption would keep it.
Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said that households living in unfinished ghost estate and "building sites" had suffered significant stress.
"You have certainly failed the fairness test," she said.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath criticised the Government's overall approach on the property tax, saying that many households would be unable to pay it.
"1913 was the Lockout and 2013 will be the "kick-out"," he said.
The locations of the estates which are exempt from the property tax are available on the websites of the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of the Environment and local authorities.
- Are you living in an unfinished housing development but have to pay the property tax? Are you one of the 35,000 people who were exempt from the household charge, but are now faced with a bill from the Revenue Commissioners?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of where you live, and tell us what works have been completed in your local area. Is your estate completely finished? We want to know.