THE Local Government (Household Charge) (Repeal) Bill 2012 brought before the House today by Sinn Féin is not a Bill, it is a one line cop-out clearly demonstrating that Sinn Féin is not ready for the responsibility of Government according to Labour TD Ciarán Lynch.
“However, it does demonstrate that Sinn Féin’s present position is a calculated political strategy based on the premise that if things get worse for Ireland, they get better for Sinn Féin.
“An accusation has been made that the Household Charge is unfair and unjust. This is a nonsense, it cannot be both. Property tax is a wealth tax supported by every serious left wing party in Europe, so therefore if politically unjust to Sinn Féin, it reveals their true political position.
“Census figures show that 44 per cent of owner-occupiers have no mortgage whatsoever. This means that Sinn Féin is proposing that nearly half of residential property owners with no mortgage, no mortgage arrears and no negative equity should not pay a property tax. And that does not even raise the question about those who acquired properties for investment purposes.
“The Labour Party is committed to implementing progressive income and property taxes. We know what Sinn Féin’s views on the household charge are, but I would like to know what their views on a progressive property tax are.
“To date they have avoided the challenge of answering this question and have adopted a St Augustine position of “Lord please give us progressive property taxes, but not quite yet.”
“Surely they must acknowledge the difference between the person buying a home through the tenant purchase scheme and the person who buys the palace owned by the late Charles Haughey?
“I would call on Sinn Féin to withdraw this nonsense Bill and in failing to do so, I call on every serious left wing member of this House to vote against it.”