Friday 25 May 2018

Minister attacks AIB over 'tax cuts for developers'

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy launched a scathing attack on bailed-out bank AIB for suggesting the Government should reduce VAT for builders to kick-start the property market.

Speaking at a Dublin Chamber of Commerce event, Mr Murphy said "have they learnt nothing?" when he was questioned about the AIB proposal.

The minister said AIB was a "bailed-out bank and supported by the taxpayer" and was now telling the Government to "narrow the tax base to support builders".

He said the bank was "reliving mistakes only four years after we exited the bailout".

The minister's comments put him in direct conflict with a bank in which the Government is still the majority shareholder.

Two weeks ago, the Sunday Independent revealed how AIB was pushing to have VAT reduced to encourage developers to get back into the domestic housing market. The proposal was among a number of recommendations and initiatives aimed at stimulating the market. A cut in the rate for the construction sector from 13.5pc to 9pc would cost the Exchequer around €240m a year.

Sunday Independent

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