THE MINISTER for the Environment has been accused of 'waging war' against householders with the new property tax and warned to expect 'outright resistance' the move.
That was the view of Deputy Clare Daly TD (ULA) described the Bill to enact the new property tax as 'one of the most draconian pieces of legislation that has ever been put before the House'. She said: 'People often talk, sometimes in exaggeration, about taking food out of the mouths of families or children, but that is literally what this legislation proposes. 'What the Minister is proposing, unlike any of his predecessors, is to forcibly put his paw into the pockets and into wage packets of workers and take from them moneys that they would otherwise spend on electricity, food and so on. ' The idea that he can do this without provoking a reaction is an absolute fallacy. He has clearly chosen to wage war and it will be met with outright resistance.' Deputy Daly added: ' In my opinion, this property tax, which is a home tax, will be the match thrown into the dynamite factory of Irish society. ' The Minister let the cat out of the bag and exposed the backdrop to this - that the reason he is doing this is not to improve our situation but to pay for the private debts of bankers and bondholders and the deficit in this State. ' The idea that taking money from people will only, as he said, have a small adverse effect on economic performance is rubbish. Next year he proposes not to take half a year's property tax from people but to take a year and half 's property tax.' Proposing an alternative to the tax, she said: ' The Minister asked what our alternative is. I will give it to him in 20 seconds. 'Our alternative is that if he were even to enforce the existing rate of corporation tax - he would not have to increase it - he would get €4 billion in revenue, which is the equivalent of eight years of home tax revenue. People realise this is nothing more than daylight robbery and they will strenuously resist this measure.' Deputy Daly also expressed reservations on the plans to exempt pyrite homes from the tax, saying: ' The sop given by the Minister - that the situation of those who have houses afflicted with pyrite, whose homes are valueless, will be examined in the Finance Act - is not good enough. What sort of tax relief will they be given and who will deem the granting of such relief ? 'Who will deem the certifiable level of pyritic heave? Who will pay for the testing and so on? Apart from all those people who are in dire economic straits, to add insult to injury, it is considered that people who are poor can have the privilege of paying extra.'