Monday 18 December 2017

McEntee can lobby on property tax if she gets elected – Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has shot down complaints from Fine Gael by-election candidate Helen McEntee about the huge drop in the number of property tax exemptions.

It came after Ms McEntee said too few ghost estates have been excluded from the property tax – with just 5,000 houses exempted compared to 43,000 for the €100 household charge. But Mr Kenny said that many estates had previously been given blanket exemptions, even if some houses were finished and others were incomplete. He confirmed there would be no changes to the exemptions identified in a new survey.

"It's on the basis of updated, much more accurate information that the reductions in numbers of exemptions were brought about," he said.

Mr Kenny told Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald that Ms McEntee would be able to "lobby" Environment Minister Phil Hogan on the matter if she got elected.

"She comes from a particular stock. As we spoke so eloquently of her late father, I can assure Deputy McDonald that, but for his persistence and commitment, the issue of pyrite-affected houses might never have seen the progress it has made now," he said.

Mr Kenny's comments are also a rebuke to Labour TDs such as Emmet Stagg who had complained that Mr Hogan had made a "dog's dinner" of the property tax exemptions.

Irish Independent

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