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Varadkar calls for inheritance tax to be abolished for average priced homes


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar outside Government buildings earlier this week

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar outside Government buildings earlier this week

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar outside Government buildings earlier this week

Inheritance tax should be abolished for anyone inheriting an average priced home, Leo Varadkar has said.

The outgoing Taoiseach said he will be pushing for inheritance tax to be significantly reduced in budget negotiations if Fine Gael forms a government with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

Speaking during a Fine Gael online conference, Mr Varadkar said: “The average property value for example in Dublin, which would be higher than the average around the country, you shouldn't pay any inheritance tax on that.”

“You should only pay inheritance tax on the amount you inherit in excess of that I think that'd be good principle and that's the principle that we'll push forward,” he added.

Houses worth less than €335,000 are currently exempt from inheritance tax while the average house price in Dublin is around €438,000. There are no commitments on inheritance tax in the programme for government.

The Taoiseach also revealed that Fine Gael prevented a referendum on property rights being included in the final agreement with Fianna Fáil and the Greens.

He said the party blocked the referendum and a ban on one-off houses and live cattle exports.

He said there were “big concerns” in rural Ireland on all three of the issues and Fine Gael worked to ensure they were not included in the deal..

“None of those things that people were concerned about a have been included in this programme for governments,” he said.

He also warned of “enormous social disharmony” if the next government does not resolve the housing crisis.

He said young people in their 20s and 30s feel they are “locked out of the economy” and will not be as well off as their parents who are also angry on their behalf. Mr Varadkar said Fine Gael have been given a “second chance” to solve the housing crisis.

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The Taoiseach said his party will seek to a deliver 30 year mortgages at interest rates 2pc or 3pc which he said is being done in Germany.

Mr Varadkar says Fine Gael will be "the party that cares" in government and insisted on a "cradle to the grave" care package in the deal.

He said the party secured a €150m a scheme to help farmers diversify their output. He also predicted that the National Broadband Plan will be finished under budget and ahead of schedule.

The Taoiseach said he conceded on increasing the State pension age to 67 so the next government can “prepare” people for the change

Meanwhile, Tanaiste Simon Coveney told party members it was “very unlikely” that he next government will be able to reduce carbon emission by 7pc annual in the first few years.

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