Saturday 25 May 2019

Leo's auction politics exposed as home tax plan shelved for votes

FG tax-cut pledge seen as start of election bidding war

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Michelle Devane/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Michelle Devane/PA Wire
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Fine Gael local election candidates will pledge to work on cutting Local Property Tax in their area, going against a key Government report.

The Irish Independent can reveal a draft version of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's manifesto for the local election commits its potential councillors to fight to reduce LPT rates.

The move goes directly against a key recommendation in a Government report which says the ability of politicians to cut property taxes should be taken away.

The Fine Gael promise is likely to be seen as the start of a cynical election bidding war in the campaign which officially begins today, ahead of voting on May 24.

Households are currently paying the LPT based on 2013 values - but prices have significantly risen since then.

The manifesto says "Fine Gael councillors will work to ensure that, where possible, the LPT rate levied by the council is reduced".

Currently each council has the option of increasing or reducing the tax by maximum of 15pc. But an interdepartmental review, on which changes to the LPT system will be based, advocates the 'Local Adjustment Factor' should be amended "to permit upward only adjustments to a maximum of 15pc".

Irish Independent

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