Monday 26 August 2019

Fianna Fail demand review of taxes paid by 'cuckoo funds'

Fianna Fáil’s Darragh O’Brien. Photo: Damien Eagers
Fianna Fáil’s Darragh O’Brien. Photo: Damien Eagers
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

FIANNA Fáil is to demand a review of how so-called ‘Cuckoo Funds’ who buy up housing units for rent are taxed.

The party believes the Government has been blind to the growing trend of big corporations “distorting the market”.

Housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien said many companies pay “effectively no tax” while securing homes that should be available for first-time buyers.

Last year, corporations spent more than €1.1bn buying a record 2,923 housing units in Ireland, blasting through previous records and cementing a radical shift in housing patterns.

Even with added supply, rents are now forecast to increase by a further 17pc over the next three years in Dublin, according to new research from Savills. The lucrative rents are a key reason big investors will continue piling into the market.

These have been described as "cuckoo funds" because they snap up accommodation before individuals get a chance to purchase. It is a trend that is locking many working families out of buying their own homes.

Mr O’Brien wants Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to carry out a “full review” and potentially even restrict planning laws to protect supply for families wanting to get on the property ladder.

“Why is it so advantageous for these funds to come in?” he asked.

He claimed some charge “extortionate rents” and the issue cannot wait until Fianna Fáil enter budget negotiations with the Government later this year.

“This review should be time bound,” he said.

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