Fine Gael has decided to postpone massive increases in the property tax until after Euro, Local and General elections. The taxes will then escalate dramatically because of rising property prices.
The property tax was forced on people through fear. The Revenue Commissioners were told to take it out of people’s wages and this made a boycott impossible. At the time, all of the political establishment supported this tax while People Before Profit and others on the left opposed it.
By its nature, the tax is totally unjust. A pensioner in an area like Ringsend will pay more for a small cottage than a millionaire living in a mansion in Mullingar.
The tax was supposed to increase funding to local authorities. But the latest figures show that there has been an overall drop in funding .
Before the introduction of the Local Property Tax, one of the main sources of funding to local authorities was the General Purpose Grant. However, after 2015, this was replaced with an allocation from the Local Property Tax.
In 2008, the General Purpose Grant to local authorities amounted to €979 million. In 2009, it was €832 million and in 2010 it was €763 million.
After the property tax was introduced, this funding shrank dramatically. In 2015, funding to local authorities from the Local Property Tax stood at €458 million. In 2016, it was €453 million and in 2017, it was €501 million.
These figures show up the lie that was told about the property tax being used to better local public services.
They explain why basic services like libraries, cleaning, repairs, funding for youth services have all been run down.
They prove that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Labour were lying when they promised better services and that their main aim was simply to shift the tax burden onto the mass of people while helping to shelter the big corporations.