asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider, in the interests of cheaper lending rates by building societies, abolishing income tax on such societies.
Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Building Society Income Tax.
Building societies enjoy exemption from corporation profits tax under existing law but I do not consider that this immunity should extend to income tax.
Is the Minister aware of the hardship imposed on many married couples because of the high interest rate being charged on loans at present? Can the Minister or the Government do anything about this imposition on people who have borrowed in order to build their own houses?
I recognise that it is a problem and, indeed, I recognise that many factors are combining to make it very difficult for young married couples to provide themselves with houses. This is something about which I am afraid we can do very little. Unfortunately, interest rates are rising all over the world. The problem of building society interest rates is a very acute one in Britain also and I am afraid I cannot see any simple solution to the problem. As I understand it, the building societies here have not yet decided to increase their rates. The decision has not yet been taken and the Deputy as usual is a little premature.
In 1956 when the Fianna Fáil Party were the Opposition some Deputies advocated that money should be given for building houses at 1½ per cent to two per cent. I know that Mr. Wilson advocated something similar in Britain.
As far as I remember in 1956 rates of interest were not worrying anybody because there was no money available to lend.
There were more houses built——
A certain Minister lost his seat——
The question relates to income tax. Question No. 43.