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Fears over taxes and Budget shake our confidence

HOUSEHOLD finances are under pressure due to the property tax and fears about another tough Budget, a new survey has found.

The squeeze on household funds means consumers are also holding back from making major purchases because they do not know how many more tax hikes and charges they face.

These fears mean there was a marginal decline in the Consumer Confidence Index in April when compared with the previous month.

The overall KBC Ireland/ ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index decreased from 60.0 in March to 58.9 in April. The three-month moving average fell from 61.2 to 59.4, reflecting a slight weakening of sentiment since the start of the year.

Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland, said the mood of consumers was little changed in April.

"The marginal decline in the sentiment index is disappointing when compared to a slight improvement across the rest of the euro area but it is not entirely surprising . . . following a number of indicators that point towards a still hesitant recovery," he added.

It came as a new survey found most people were unhappy with the property tax estimate they have received from Revenue.


And two out of every five people liable for the controversial new tax intended to use a lower valuation figure for their home than the one suggested by the tax authorities.

Revenue has insisted that the letters sent to homeowners contain its best estimate of the valuation of the property, but many people have mistaken this for a Revenue assessment.

They mistakenly believe they have to pay property tax based on the valuation in the letter from the tax officers.

A spokeswoman said the Revenue estimate was not a demand – it was only relevant where somebody did not complete and file a return.

The MyHome.ie survey of 1,500 people found that 57pc were unhappy with the valuation by Revenue. Only 22pc said they agreed with the introduction of the new tax, with 60pc opposing it.

Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, said the fact half of property owners said they were going to use the figure in Revenue's assessment was interesting.

"The findings would appear to support anecdotal evidence that Revenue generally erred on the lower side with their valuation bands," Ms Keegan said.

Irish Independent