Sunday 26 February 2017

Only radical thinking can solve housing crisis



Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Tom Burke
Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Tom Burke

It is beginning to look increasingly unlikely that there will be a cut in VAT on housing, despite the commitment to do so set out in the current Programme for Government. That same commitment is expected to be endorsed by the Dáil's Housing and Homelessness Committee, which has included it in its draft report.

But Finance Minister Michael Noonan has made it clear that he is not convinced a VAT cut from 13.5pc to 9pc will help first-time buyers.

His concerns that the rebate will end up lining the pockets of developers instead of helping families on to the property ladder may be well founded; though one wonders if he should not have waited for the Housing Committee report before forming his opinion.

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