Tuesday 16 October 2018

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe defiant over stamp duty increase

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: PA
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: PA
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has issued an unapologetic defence of his decision to increase the rate of stamp duty on commercial property transactions from 2pc to 6pc in the recent Budget.

Responding to questions on the matter at Davy's annual conference, which took place in Dublin last Thursday night, Donohoe made it clear that he would not bow to special pleading on taxation from the property industry, or any other sector, if he believed this would run contrary to the national interest.

"I don't believe the national interest is equal to the sum total of the private interests of every sector in our economy. I have to look at what I do as (being) collectively the right to do," he said.

Commenting on the suggestion that the property industry had been shocked by his move, he said: "If it was a shock to the industry, then I urge them to look more carefully at what I say in the future.

"In the run-up to the Budget, I said I would make economic choices in the context of how the economy was performing and would make taxation choices in the context of those parts of the economy for which that taxation policy is relevant."

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