herald

Friday 17 August 2018

New raid on holiday homes in tax charge

HOLIDAY home owners will not escape the new household charge, even though they are already paying a tax on their second property.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has revealed the new flat-rate household charge will be totally separate from the existing second-home levy.

It comes as Enda Kenny said income tax will not be increased in December's Budget.

Mr Hogan said the existing Non-Principal Private Residence charge of €200 will not affect the owners' obligations to pay the expected €100 household levy, introduced next year.



welfare

It will leave the owners of the country's more than 300,000 holiday homes facing a tax bill of at least €300 a year.

The Government has yet to agree on the new flat-rate fee, though the previous administration proposed €100 a year.

Fine Gael and Labour have committed to introducing it as part of the EU-IMF bailout. Landlords will have to pay for each unit they let.

It could lead to rents being pushed up across the country.

Families have also been told water charges will be introduced once meters have been provided to every home.

But they can rest assured that income tax will not go up. In a surprise move, the Government categorically ruled out the rises.

Taoiseach Mr Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore also insisted there will be no cuts in social welfare.

However, it means further stealth taxes and public service cuts will have to be identified as the fiscal deficit must be reduced by a further €3.6bn as part of the bailout deal.

But Mr Kenny is adamant there will "not be any income tax increases in the Budget".

Mr Gilmore also ruled out the possibility of cuts in social welfare rates. He called for more spending to boost growth.

"In order to underpin that, I think there's an obligation on Government to provide certainty, because obviously people are looking at what their incomes are going to be like towards the end of the year -- whether they're on social welfare or whether they're paying income tax," Mr Gilmore said.

Speculation had mounted about increases to income tax rates after Finance Minister Michael Noonan last week refused to rule out the move.

comurphy@herald.ie

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