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Donohoe says property tax will go up for some but insists it will be 'affordable'


Charges: Paschal Donohoe wants to cut official air travel. Photo: Frank McGrath

Charges: Paschal Donohoe wants to cut official air travel. Photo: Frank McGrath

Charges: Paschal Donohoe wants to cut official air travel. Photo: Frank McGrath

FINANCE Minister Paschal Donohoe has said Local Property Tax (LPT) will increase for some households under planned reforms but insisted they will be "affordable."

It came as he also confirmed that Fine Gael will stand by its promise to cut income tax if it is returned to office.

The current LPT regime is based on 2013 house values and tens of thousands of people who bought homes since are exempt.

Last year Mr Donohoe put off plans to reform the LPT system and no changes will be brought in until 2021.

The announcement - before the 2019 Local Elections - saw Mr Donohoe accused by Sinn Féin of kicking the can down the road and "cute hoor politics".

Mr Donohoe rejected those claims at the time and saying he wouldn't take lectures on cute hoor politics from a party that was seeking to abolish LPT outright.

Earlier today Mr Donohoe was asked about Fine Gael's plans for the LPT at the launch of his party's election promises on the economy.

He said a key element of the plan is to bring those who are exempt into the net as they should be "treated the same way" as their neighbours.

He claims that by making changes to the LPT bands and councillors' discretion to raise and lower the tax, most homes in Ireland won't see a change in how much they will pay.

Mr Donohoe conceded that changes in property values since 2013 will see some households face increases but insisted they would be "affordable".

Meanwhile, Fine Gael has long promised income tax cuts where the threshold that workers hit the higher 40pc rate will be raised to €50,000 over five years.

Mr Donohoe said the party is standing by this pledge in the election.

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He said: "We will be doing that because we believe that it is neither fair or indeed even efficient... that you would have somebody who is on an average wage paying paying the higher rate of income tax."

He said that as wage growth continues to recover from what he claimed was the "Fianna Fáil crash" more people on average wages would end up paying the higher rate.

"I don't believe that's fair. I believe it should change."

In relation to the economy, Fine Gael claim they will deliver 200,000 jobs by 2025, increase infrastructure investment to almost 11bn, ensuring wages keep going up and that they will responsibly manage the economy.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pledge that his party will end the "cycle of boom and bust" that he blamed Fianna Fáil governments for.

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