Government must introduce Vacant Homes Tax, says O’Callaghan TDGary Ibbotson 24 May 2022
The government must stop delaying and introduce a vacant homes tax immediately, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.
Speaking today the Dublin Bay North TD said that “the introduction of a vacant homes tax was postponed because the government said it wanted to first collect data from the Local Property Tax (LPT) returns. This caused an unnecessary delay.
“It is clear the LPT returns do not provide a complete data set in terms of measuring vacancy – with filings currently outstanding for approximately 216,900 homes or 10% of the housing stock.
“The data the Government is relying on is therefore much less comprehensive than existing data from the CSO and Geo-Directory. That is indisputable,” he says.
Deputy O’Callaghan said the Government should stop trying to find reasons for not introducing the tax.
“When the size of the Dáil is being calculated, we rely on the CSO to provide data via the census to determine the overall number of Dáil seats.
“If the government is happy to use CSO data to determine its own notional ‘vacancy rate’, why is it so loathe to use CSO data as a basis for the introduction of a vacant homes tax?
“Instead of pursuing the rapid introduction of a vacant homes tax, the government seems to be more interested in trying to undermine the rationale for one. This is despite the fact that Housing For All pledged to introduce a vacant homes tax in the second quarter of this year.
“We have had enough delay. The government must now act and introduce a vacant homes tax to bring much-needed homes back into use,” he says.