A motion launched by Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD and spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin that calls on the government to legislate to end the tax advantages enjoyed by institutional investors in the housing market will be debated in the Dáil this evening.
The motion also implores government to bring forward measures to reverse their damaging policy and end the displacement of workers, families and struggling home-buyers by these institutional investment funds.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“Institutional investors enjoy tax advantages and exemptions that are distorting the housing market.
“These institutional investors are pricing workers, families and struggling home buyers out of home ownership, and pushing up rents and property prices.
“They are also distorting the activities of developers, who are skewing supply to maximise their incomes, and the incomes of institutional investors, rather than the needs of society.
“This did not happen overnight or by accident.
“It is the direct consequence of government policy, introduced by the Fine Gael government and facilitated by Fianna Fáil.
“These institutional investment funds were granted massive tax advantages by Fine Gael.
“Many of them, such as REITs and IREFs, pay no corporation tax on their rental profit, no capital gains tax, and very little stamp duty.
“Against them, struggling home buyers don’t stand a chance.
“For years, Sinn Féin has called for these tax advantages to be brought to an end, and for additional taxes to be levied against these funds through a stamp duty surcharge.
“This motion calls on the government to implement these long-held Sinn Féin policies immediately, and to shift the balance in favour of struggling home-buyers.”
Teachta Ó Broin added:
“In addition to closing down the outrageous tax advantages given to vulture funds, we need real reform of the planning system.
“Emergency legislation needs to be introduced to stop these funds bulk-buying residential developments that should be on the market for first time buyers and other working people looking to buy a home.
“We also need more far-reaching reform of the planning system to ensure that future planning applications have the right balance of owner-occupier and rental homes determined by local need, not the profit-seeking of large institutional investors.”
The motion can be read here.