Opposition kept calling for reform
FINE Gael and Labour's positions on stamp duty and public spending while Brian Cowen was finance minister:
The main opposition party consistently called for stamp duty reform between 2005 and 2008.
"I believe that stamp duty should have been reformed to help certain targeted groups of house buyers," finance spokesman Richard Bruton said in December 2005.
Mr Cowen reluctantly abolished the tax for first-time buyers in June 2007, and followed up with more reforms that December.
But Fine Gael said it had come six months too late to prevent a property crash.
Finance spokesperson Joan Burton and then-leader Pat Rabbitte said stamp duty had to be reformed in favour of first-time buyers.
They wanted a "big bang" change to take place in one year. Ms Burton said first-time buyers were being "savagely" hit.