Financial Resolution: Stamp Duties

I move:

(1) THAT, for the purposes of stamp duty charged by virtue of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999 (No. 31 of 1999), that Act be amended—

(a) by the insertion of the following section after section 31D:

“Stamp duty on certain acquisitions of residential property

31E. (1) In this section—

‘Act of 1997’ means the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997;

‘apartment block’ means a multi-storey residential property that comprises, or will comprise, not less than 3 apartments with grouped or common access;

‘arrangement’ includes any agreement, understanding, scheme, transaction or series of transactions;

‘connected’ shall be construed in accordance with section 10 of the Act of 1997;

‘relevant residential unit’ shall be construed in accordance with subsection (5);

‘residential unit’ means residential property situated in the State comprising an individual dwelling.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), for the purposes of this section, a person shall be treated as acquiring a residential unit—

(a) in the case of a conveyance or transfer on sale of the residential unit, on the date of execution of the conveyance or transfer, as the case may be,

(b) in the case of a lease in respect of the residential unit for a definite term exceeding 35 years, on the date of execution of the lease,

(c) in the case of an instrument, referred to in section 29(2), effecting the sale of land on which the residential unit has been built or is in the course of being built, on the date of execution of the instrument,

(d) in the case of a conveyance or transfer, referred to in section 30(1), operating as a voluntary disposition inter vivos of the residential unit, on the date of execution of the conveyance or transfer, as the case may be,

(e) in the case of a contract or agreement, referred to in section 31(1), for the sale of any equitable estate or interest in the residential unit, on the date of execution of the contract or agreement, as the case may be,

(f) in the case of an instrument, referred to in section 33(1), whereby the residential unit is conveyed or transferred in contemplation of a sale of the residential unit, on the date of execution of the instrument, and

(g) in the case of an instrument, referred to in section 37, effecting a conveyance or transfer of the residential unit in exchange for any other property, on the date of execution of the instrument.

(3) Where the acquisition of a residential unit is effected by more than one instrument referred to in subsection (2), the residential unit shall be treated as being acquired on the earliest to occur of the dates on which, under that subsection, it is so treated as being acquired.

(4) In this section, a reference to acquisition shall include a reference to acquisition by way of a conveyance, transfer, lease, instrument, contract or agreement referred to in subsection (2).

(5) Where—

(a) a person acquires a residential unit on or after 20 May 2021, and

(b) the total of—

(i) the residential units acquired by that person or a connected person in the 12 months immediately preceding the day on which the residential unit referred to in paragraph (a) is acquired (in this subsection referred to as the ‘relevant day’),

(ii) the residential unit referred to in paragraph (a), and

(iii) any other residential units acquired by the person or a connected person on the relevant day,

is greater than or equal to 10 residential units, each of the residential units comprised in that total shall be a relevant residential unit.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5)—

(a) no account shall be taken of a residential unit in an apartment block, and

(b) in a case in which the person or a connected person referred to in subsection (5)(b)(i) or (iii) is an individual, no account shall be taken of the residential units acquired by the connected person where—

(i) the person and the connected person are not acting in concert in relation to the acquisition of those units, and

(ii) the acquisition of any of those units is not part of an arrangement, one of the main purposes of which is to avoid the unit being a relevant residential unit.

(7) This subsection applies to—

(a) stocks or marketable securities in a company (within the meaning of section 4 of the Act of 1997),

(b) units (within the meaning of section 88(1)(a)) in an IREF (within the meaning of section 31C), or

(c) interests in a partnership, being a partner’s share or interest in a partnership, that derive value, directly or indirectly, from a residential unit.

(8) For the purposes of subsection (7), the reference to deriving value indirectly from a residential unit shall include value that is derived from other stocks, marketable securities, units or interests, as the case may be, to which that subsection applies.

(9) In calculating the part of the value of the stocks, marketable securities, units or interests, as the case may be, that is derived, directly or indirectly, from a residential unit for the purposes of subsection (7)—

(a) account shall not be taken of any arrangement that—

(i) involves a transfer of money or other assets, apart from a residential unit, from a person who is connected with the company, IREF or partnership, as the case may be, in which those stocks, marketable securities, units or interests are held,

(ii) is made before a conveyance or transfer on sale of stocks, marketable securities, units or interests to which subsection (7) applies, and

(iii) the main purpose, or one of the main purposes, of which is the avoidance of liability to any tax or duty,

and

(b) regard shall be had to the market value of the residential unit from which the value is derived.

(10) Where—

(a) there exists a conveyance or transfer on sale of stocks or marketable securities, units or interests to which subsection (7) applies, and

(b) such conveyance or transfer on sale results in a change in the person or persons having direct or indirect control over the residential unit concerned, the conveyance or transfer on sale concerned shall be chargeable to stamp duty under paragraph (1) of the heading ‘CONVEYANCE or TRANSFER on sale of any property other than stocks or marketable securities or a policy of insurance or a policy of life insurance’ in Schedule 1 as respects that part of the value of the stocks, marketable securities, units or interests, as the case may be, that is derived from the residential unit.

(11) Where—

(a) there is a change in the ownership of a company, IREF or partnership that results in a change in the person or persons having direct or indirect control over a residential unit, and

(b) any contract or agreement giving direct or indirect effect to such change is not otherwise chargeable to stamp duty, then the contract or agreement shall be treated as a conveyance or transfer on sale of stocks or marketable securities, units or interests for the purposes of subsection (10).

(12) For the purposes of subsection (5), the person or persons acquiring direct or indirect control over a residential unit in the circumstances described in subsection (10) or (11), as the case may be, shall be treated as acquiring the residential unit on the date of, as the case may be—

(a) the execution of the conveyance or transfer on sale, or

(b) the execution of the contract or agreement.

(13) Any stamp duty chargeable in respect of a relevant residential unit and any associated interest or other monetary penalty amount which is due and unpaid shall be and remain a charge on the relevant residential unit to which it relates and, notwithstanding the Statute of Limitations 1957, shall continue to apply without a time limit until such time as it is paid in full.

(14) This subsection applies to—

(a) a relevant residential unit in respect of the acquisition of which—

(i) a binding contract is entered into before 20 May 2021, and

(ii) the instrument effecting the acquisition is executed before 20 August 2021 and is accompanied by a statement, in such form as the Commissioners may specify, certifying that the instrument was executed solely in pursuance of a binding contract entered into before 20 May 2021,

and

(b) a relevant residential unit the acquisition of which was effected before 20 May 2021.

(15) The furnishing of an incorrect certificate for the purposes of subsection (14)(a)(ii) shall be deemed to constitute the delivery of an incorrect statement for the purposes of section 1078 of the Act of 1997.

(16) Sections 82(1), 82C(2) and 88(1)(b) shall not apply where the conveyance, transfer or lease concerned effects the acquisition of a relevant residential unit.”,

and
(b) in Schedule 1—
(i) in the heading ‘CONVEYANCE or TRANSFER on sale of any property other than stocks or marketable securities or a policy of insurance or a policy of life insurance’ by substituting the following paragraph for paragraph (1):

(1) Where the amount or value of the consideration for the sale is wholly or partly attributable to residential property and the transaction effected by that instrument does not form part of a larger transaction or of a series of transactions in respect of which, had there been a larger transaction or a series of transactions, the amount or value, or the aggregate amount or value, of the consideration (other than the consideration for the sale concerned which is wholly or partly attributable to residential property) would have been wholly or partly attributable to residential property:

(a) for the consideration which is attributable to—

(i) residential property which is not a relevant residential unit, within the meaning of section 31E, or

(ii) residential property which is a relevant residential unit, within the meaning of section 31E, to which subsection (14) of that section applies.

1 per cent of the first €1,000,000 of the consideration and 2 per cent of the balance of the consideration thereafter, but where the calculation results in an amount which is not a multiple of €1 the amount so calculated shall be rounded down to the nearest €.

(b) for the consideration which is attributable to a relevant residential unit, within the meaning of section 31E, other than a relevant residential unit to which subsection (14) of that section applies.

10 per cent of the consideration, but where the calculation results in an amount which is not a multiple of €1 the amount so calculated shall be rounded down to the nearest €.

and
(ii) in the heading ‘LEASE’, by substituting the following clause for clause (i) of paragraph (3)(a):

(i) the amount or value of such consideration for the lease is wholly or partly attributable to residential property and the transaction effected by that instrument does not form part of a larger transaction or of a series of transactions in respect of which, had there been a larger transaction or a series of transactions, the amount or value, or the aggregate amount or value, of the consideration (other than the consideration for the lease concerned which is wholly or partly attributable to residential property and other than rent) would have been wholly or partly attributable to residential property:

(I) for the consideration which is attributable to—

(A) residential property which is not a relevant residential unit, within the meaning of section 31E, or

(B) residential property which is a relevant residential unit, within the meaning of section 31E, in respect of instruments to which subsection (14) of that section applies.

1 per cent of the first €1,000,000 of the consideration and 2 per cent of the balance of the consideration thereafter, but where the calculation results in an amount which is not a multiple of €1 the amount so calculated shall be rounded down to the nearest €.

(II) for the consideration which is attributable to a relevant residential unit, within the meaning of section 31E, in respect of instruments other than a relevant residential unit to which subsection (14) of that section applies.

10 per cent of the consideration, but where the calculation results in an amount which is not a multiple of €1 the amount so calculated shall be rounded down to the nearest €.

(2) IT is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1927 (No. 7 of 1927).

On a point of order, will all the amendments and the groupings be circulated?

They are being circulated as we speak.

I present this evening a financial resolution on stamp duties. Its purpose is to amend the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999 through the insertion of a new section, 31E, titled "Stamp duty and certain acquisitions of residential property". It does this by imposing higher stamp duty charges on multiple purchases of residential units to take effect from midnight tonight. It is one part of the Government's response to the recent development of commercial institutional investors bulk-purchasing homes at or near completion in competition with the owner-occupier market.

The other significant element is the Minister of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Deputy Darragh O'Brien's decision to issue new planning guidelines requiring that all houses other than those already ring-fenced for social and affordable housing will have to be made available for sale and first occupation by separate individual households for a period of a year after completion. The Minister, Deputy O'Brien, is dealing with this matter.

These measures are part of the Government's broader commitment to improving the supply of housing and affordability for first-time buyers, which has included to date bringing forward significant measures such as the Affordable Housing Bill 2021 and the Land Development Agency Bill 2021.

These measures stand as part of an overall housing strategy which provides the highest ever budget for housing in the history of the State of €3.3 billion to support the social housing needs of 28,500 additional households.

The background to this resolution is the purchase by institutional investors of all or a significant proportion of residential housing estates, in particular, close to the time of completion. The new higher rate of stamp duty proposed in this resolution is intended to provide a significant disincentive to this practice of multiple purchase by investors of large parts of housing estates or whole housing estates before they reach the market, thus denying first-time buyers an opportunity to purchase a home.

In summary, the legislation will introduce a new 10% rate of stamp duty to apply where a person purchases ten or more houses within a 12-month period. It may apply to a single book purchase, but may also apply in cases where ten or more houses are purchased across a number of different transactions in a 12-month period. Once the threshold of the tenth house is passed, the higher 10% rate will apply on all houses purchased in the period, including the first nine.

A key objective of this proposal is to achieve a balance between addressing the issue of multiple purchases by institutional investors while, at the same time, ensuring the supply of financing is not undermined, especially for the construction of new apartment developments. It provides a specific exemption from this higher stamp duty rate for the multiple purchase of apartments at any time whether, for example, the apartments are being bought at planning permission stage or at another stage in the future. The rationale for this is twofold. In order for apartment complexes to be built, it is necessary in virtually all cases for an institutional investor to commit through a binding contract to purchase all or some of a complex on completion. This is known as the forward-purchase model and it is usually entered into once planning permission has been obtained.

The benefit of this approach is that it allows a developer to obtain the necessary funds through bank lending to finance the project. The financing would be unobtainable in the absence of this forward-purchase contract and therefore these apartments would not be built. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has indicated that institutional investors are only likely to commit to a forward-purchase agreement if they can be certain that at a later stage they will be able to sell the same apartments. A key concern raised, which I share, is that a 10% stamp duty levy would inhibit such a sale and, again, thus discourage such investors from participating in the financing of apartment complexes. This is an important exemption, as in its absence there is a significant risk that developers would exit from the apartment building market, that projects would no longer be viable, and an important element of our future housing strategy would be lost.

Research carried out by my Department indicates that the financing problem for own-door housing in traditional housing estates is much less significant. The household buyer market for houses is sufficiently deep and this, combined with the flexibility to develop and sell in phases, reduces the risk premium on funding from traditional sources such as the pillar banks. Moreover, as this measure is specifically targeted to ensure a greater supply of houses is available for families and for individuals to live in, the application of the stamp duty charge to all large purchases of houses, including forward-purchase agreements, is essential in delivering on its purpose.

It is also important to recognise that some multiple purchases of property are undertaken by bodies specifically for the purpose of providing social and affordable housing. It is not intended to apply the higher stamp duty rate in these instances. Therefore, the higher rate will not apply to local authorities, affordable housing bodies and the Housing Agency when they engage in multiple-purchase transactions. Other social or affordable housing arrangements will be considered as part of the legislation which will be brought before the Houses in the next few months to permanently underpin this resolution.

I will now outline the key elements of this measure. The higher stamp duty rate will be 10%. It will apply to multiple purchases of ten or more houses in a 12-month period. As mentioned already, apartments in apartment buildings are fully exempt from this higher stamp duty rate, as are multiple purchases by local authorities, approved housing bodies and the Housing Agency. While the higher rate of stamp duty will apply automatically to all bulk purchases of ten units or more, it will also apply on a cumulative basis where, for instance, a person is purchasing regularly on a unit-by-unit basis. This is an important safeguard, as otherwise the policy intent of disincentivising multiple purchases could be circumvented through a series of smaller purchases. The higher stamp duty charge would therefore take effect once the tenth property is purchased in a 12-month period. This means that where a person or institution has purchased incrementally and reaches the threshold of ten, the higher stamp duty will apply to the other previous nine purchases also. In such a situation, where the standard stamp duty rate has been already been, this payment will be offset against the amount due under this new charge. It will apply to all Irish dwellings that are acquired, other than apartments, regardless of location. That is, it will apply where there are multiple dwellings in one estate or single dwellings in different locations across the country. It will also apply in circumstances where multiple purchases of residential units are made indirectly through shares or units of companies, investment funds and other entities that hold residential property.

There will be a three-month transition period for execution of binding contracts that have been entered into but not completed prior to the commencement of the resolution. This is provided for normally on the introduction of new taxes or increases of rates on transfer of land and this has been included in this measure on the advice of the Office of the Attorney General. Similarly, units purchased before the resolution comes into effect have been counted towards triggering the threshold of ten, but higher stamp duty rates can only apply to units bought after the introduction of the financial resolution. For example, if six units were bought in April and five units are bought in June, the April purchases would enable the higher stamp duty rate to be applied to the June purchases but not to reassess the stamp duty chargeable on the April purchase.

As indicated earlier, the new stamp duty rate of 10% is designed to disincentivise the multiple purchase of houses by large investors and purchasers. When combined with the complementary measures introduced by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage on planning, this should ensure greater availability of houses for purchase by individuals and families. I believe the 10% rate is at a sufficient level to discourage institutional investors from participating in the market for houses and to direct available capital to apartment developments where viability challenges are more significant and this capital is critical in increasing the supply of homes.

The Government is well aware of the complexity of the property market, as housing policy must balance the needs of all tenures – private rental, private ownership, affordable or cost rental and social housing. As part of this balance I believe investors have a particular role to play, as they bring an added source of finance to the market. The bottom line, unfortunately, is that there are now two remaining Irish pillar banks and one other bank and these are limited in their ability to finance large property developments without either co-financing from investment funds or the de-risking of the project through a binding contract for the forward purchase of a development in its entirety or a large section of it. In their absence, activity in the housing market would be much reduced and this would increase the already significant pressure facing both renters and prospective homeowners.

Institutional investors are a long-term presence in the Irish market, as in all other property markets, but I have clearly stated on many occasions that where such investments bring a profit, a fair share of tax must be paid. In recent Finance Acts I have made significant changes to the taxation of institutional investors in Irish property to ensure appropriate tax is collected.

As with investment funds generally, tax for these investment entities occurs primarily at the level of the investor rather than within the fund. In the case of both Irish real estate funds and real estate investment trusts, withholding taxes apply on distributions to investors to ensure collection of tax revenues.

The tax treatment of these investment vehicles is kept under review, most recently in a 2019 analysis produced for the tax strategy group. This led to the introduction of additional anti-avoidance measures in the Finance Act 2019, aimed at ensuring the regimes operate as intended and at preventing the avoidance of tax on property profits. This has resulted in a significant increase in the tax take from investment funds.

In conclusion, I reiterate the importance of the passage of this resolution. Its purpose is very simple, namely, to disincentivise the multiple purchases of houses through the imposition of a higher stamp duty rate, in order to increase opportunity and availability for individuals and families. As Members are aware, a financial resolution is required whenever a charge is imposed upon the people which will impact at any time before the planned legislation that will provide for it becomes law, thus explaining why it has been put forward this evening. I inform the House that I propose, through legislation, to place this resolution on a permanent statutory footing in the next number of weeks. I hope the House will support the resolution this evening.

I call Deputy Pearse Doherty.

On a point of order, is there a list of which amendments are ruled in and out of order?

My understanding was that it was being circulated.

I have a list of amendments but not which are in or out of order.

It is very simple and straightforward. Three amendments are in order - Nos. 12 to 14, inclusive - and all the others are not in order. Deputy Doherty, who has the floor, can move amendment No. 12, if he so chooses.

I move amendment No. 12:

After section 31E, to insert the following new section:

"Report on Application of a Stamp Duty Charge on the Purchase of Apartments by Investment Funds

31F. The Minister shall within 14 days from the passing of this Resolution prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on the impact of deleting subsection (6)(a) of Section 31E and including residential units in an apartment block as a relevant residential unit to which the higher rate of stamp duty will apply as a consequence of this Resolution."

Amendments Nos. 12 to 14, inclusive, are in my name and that of Deputy Eoin Ó Broin and the Sinn Féin Party. The first two deal with an appropriate level of stamp duty on these funds and ensure it will apply to apartments, along with other residential developments. The third amendment is to ensure the profits of these funds are also taxed and that the sweetheart deals, which the Minister intends to leave in place for these funds, come to an end.

The Minister comes before the House today with a financial resolution to place a restriction on investment funds, and what happens? The share price of the funds goes up. That is some trick, even for the Minister. The reality is that this has basically exposed what is going on here. This is a Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Green Party Government that has been desperate to try to find some answer to the public anger and outrage at what has been happening for many years in terms of deliberate policy by this Government, which has locked generations out of the housing market, which has left other generations of renters paying extortionate rents and young people's dreams shattered in regard to being able to own a home, particularly in this city and other cities, and in the commuter belt.

What it has come up with here is the bare minimum to try to suggest it is now clamping down on the funds, but not really, to try to take this House and the members of the Opposition for fools. We are not falling for it and I do not think the public will fall for it either. The share price rise says exactly what we all know, namely, this is not real and it will not deter investment. Indeed, these investors now believe they will be more profitable.

The Minister has set a rate of 10% and he has suggested he wants to stop these funds buying up houses in the market. If he genuinely wanted that to happen, then he would set the rate a lot higher. When this House on previous occasions decided we wanted to stamp out a type of activity, we set punitive rates, an example being that when bankers were paying out bonuses to chief executives after the crash, the public outrage forced the Government at that time to bring in a surcharge on bankers' bonuses. The effect was that the tax on those bonuses was 89%. It was about stopping it; it was about deterring it.

The Minister has brought forward a 10% stamp duty with so many loopholes that anyone could drive a horse and cart through it. Even for those it may apply to, 10% simply will not wash. I ask the Minister to explain to the House how this rate will impact on residential property being bought up by these funds. Let us take the example of Maynooth, where property was purchased at an average of €400,000. This fund, which snapped up the 135 houses from under the noses of people who were saving for years for their deposits, would make a 5% yield if it charged the average rental charge in the State of €1,667. If it has to pay this 10% stamp duty, which is 8% more, its yield would drop from 5% to 4.5%, a drop in the ocean. At a time when international money cannot find yields like that, when Government bonds are being sold at negative interest rates, the impact of the Minister's measure, if the fund was just to accept a drop in yield, would be half a percentage point. Otherwise, what it could do is raise rents by 10%, or it could split the difference. The reality is this 10% charge is not going to make the difference, and the Minister damn well knows it.

That is what it is designed to do. It is designed not to make the difference but to give a semblance of that, in that the Minister is suggesting he is doing something about it. How do I know with conviction that is the case? It is because, six months ago, I put forward a proposal that we look at the area of a stamp duty surcharge on these funds. I have been telling the Minister for years that these funds are squeezing out people who want to own their own home, whether they be first-time buyers or other property owners. The Minister railed against it. He marched his troops into the committee and he voted against even looking at the issue. He did not want to go here, he does not want to be here and he is only reacting to the public anger which is evident over the last number of weeks. Therefore, he has designed something that is designed to fail.

He has also made so many exemptions that it is unbelievable. Forward purchases are not to be included and they all get the sweetheart deal in terms of the stamp duty that is in place. The Minister knows damn well that forward purchases amount to thousands upon thousands of homes. In the last quarter of 2020, forward purchases for private rental sales equated to €600 million. In the first quarter of 2021, the largest forward purchase was for homes in a private rental sale in excess of €500 million. They are all exempt from this stamp duty increase, as little as it is. Not only is the Minister exempting all of those forward purchases that have already been included and agreed upon, but he is giving them three months to conclude arrangements, or handshakes, or words that have been exchanged to make sure they are excluded also, not from buying apartments, but from buying homes and duplexes across this State.

The Minister made the bogus claim - let me just nail it - that apartments would not be built if it was not for forward purchase agreements. Riddle me this. How is the Marlet Property Group, one of the biggest developers, funding the development in Grand Canal Harbour? The Minister knows; he damn well knows. It is through AIG. They have no forward purchase agreement for the 596 apartments they are building in Grand Canal Harbour. It is being funded by AIG to the tune of €147 million.

How is the Marlet Property Group funding St. Clare's in Harold's Cross? A total of 220 apartments will be completed in July. There is no forward purchase agreement there. How do I know? Because it is part of something that only went on the market in March this year. Investors are now interested, after the funding has been secured. Some of these apartments will be completed in the coming months and investors are now just starting to bid on forward purchasing, offering in excess of €1 billion for the entire portfolio of 2,000 apartments, which means an average cost in excess of €500,000 per apartment. Not one of them is going on the market for anyone to buy in this city across the six regions. Not one of those units will be charged an additional cent of stamp duty as a result of the Minister's policy here tonight, and not one apartment will see its tenants have a reduced rent. What they are doing as a result of this is pushing up apartment prices right across the city and beyond. The Minister should not take my word for it. He should read Savill's report for investors in Dublin for 2020. It makes it very clear that private rental sales for apartments in Dublin are 23% above the market average for non-private rental sales. A premium price is being paid by these funds, and why would they not? The Minister has created this structure so that they can pay this amount and as we saw last week in the Sunday Business Post, it is not just apartments. These funds are also outbidding approved housing bodies up to the tune of €80,000 per unit, pushing up house prices for everybody. How did they do it? Because the Minister has let them go tax free. They will easily absorb a 10% increase, if it even applies to them, because they will look at the lifetime of their investment. What the Minister is saying to them very clearly today is that they will still have no tax to pay on their rental income.

Let us look at two of these funds, the first of which is IPUT's consolidated accounts. Were it not so serious, the Minister would have a good giggle. The fund states its profits before tax are €101 million from rent and its profits after tax are €101 million. There is no tax. Shame on the Minister. That is a commercial entity but let us look at a residential entity, I-RES, one of the biggest landlords in the State, in some cases charging rents of more than €2,000 a month in this city. It made €75 million in profit last year on its rental income and it has not paid a cent in corporation tax on that. Any other structure or company that might have bought that property and had that rental income would pay 25% corporation tax on rental income, but the Minister for Finance, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil want these funds to go tax free and that is why they are pushing up prices on individuals. Today is the day, 19 May 2021, this is the hour, where the Minister has surrendered this city to the vulture funds and the investment funds. This is the moment when he hoisted the white flag over this city and said that it is a free-for-all for these funds. Instead of the Government coming in here and giving the red card to these funds, he has given the green light and shame on him. And shame on the Green Party, which champions a type of urban living, to actually back this because the consequence of this is not just about tax or revenue or house prices but what this city, the commuter belt and the outer regions and, indeed, other cities, will look like in the future. There can be no hiding of the consequences of the Minister's decision. Six out of seven homes that were completed in Dublin last year were apartments in Dublin city. Half of all homes completed last year in Dublin were apartments. The Minister is saying that it is a free-for-all for apartments, with no tax increase, no capital gains tax and rent free and "Let us go on the way you are boys, keep it going". By excluding apartments from this measure, he is effectively saying that this city is not a place where workers and families can ever aspire to own their own home, with rents set at rates the majority of earners will never be able to afford.

I will leave it at that. We have tabled amendments, which I hope this House will accept. I hope the Minister does not do what he did six months ago, when he turned his back on even looking at stamp duty, and then having to come in here and do a U-turn but one he knows will not have any effect on deterring these funds from gobbling up houses from under the noses of first-time buyers and others who aspire to own their own home, whether that be a house, a duplex or an apartment.

Cuckoo funds have mutated and the shot that the Minister has administered will not succeed in stopping them in their tracks. The evidence so far suggests that they will be resistant to the new measures he announced last night. I called in recent times for a meaningful hike in stamp duty as one of a series of targeted measures to do what the entire House seems to say it wants to do, which is to clip the wings of investment funds to ensure a level playing pitch for those who want to shot of owning their own homes. The evidence from the markets over the past 24 hours is telling. If investors feared a 10% hike in stamp duty, they would take their money elsewhere. Instead, the valuation of I-RES REIT, for example, has gone up by an excess of 2% since last night. A rate of 10% is not punitive; it is a puny rate. It says to me that they are not deterred. They will take the move on the chin, absorb the cost, and-or pass it on to already hard-pressed renters who have little security in a legislative context.

I have heard the Minister's defence of the 10% rate at his press conference last night and in his remarks this evening and I am still not persuaded that it ought not to have been set at a higher rate of 15% or 17%. I believe, in the interest of transparency, that he should publish the rationale for arriving at the 10% rate, the rationale from his Department and the advice and forming his decision.

I tabled two amendments that were ruled out of order. The first called for the House to oppose the exemption applied to the bulk purchase of apartments and apartment schemes. The Labour Party does not support this exemption. An apartment is a home when one applies for a mortgage or when one might apply for housing assistance payment, HAP, but it is not a home to be owned and enjoyed by owner-occupiers when it comes to tax advantages enjoyed by investment funds and that have the effect of distorting the market. This takes some explaining for those of us like myself and my colleague, Labour Party housing spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan, who want to see sustainable, balanced communities encouraged in our cities and major town centres. It really is sad that a home is a home but only until it comes within the grasp of a REIT. Our fear is that what we will see now is a move by investment funds to get a bigger bang for their buck and move en masse to build-to-rent and the lower floor space standards the rules allow for them. That will be bad news for renters and bad news for our society.

In addition, the amendment that was ruled out of order proposed that the stamp duty changes out to have been effective from today, 19 May, and not 20 May, as the Minster proposes in the resolution. Normally, as he knows, when changes such as these are announced on budget day, they are legislated for that very night to ensure that advantage is not taken before the new rules kick in, so why did he choose not to bring this resolution to the Dáil last night when we were expecting to see it, following his press conference after the decision was taken by Cabinet? I fear the midnight oil was burning through the night in lawyers' offices in the docklands with date stamps at the ready to make sure that big sales of tranches of homes kicked off in time to avoid bigger stamp duty bills. I also note there is a three-month window or transition period to allow things to be tied up. Given the seriousness of the situation we are now in, I am not in favour of that approach.

It will come as a surprise to first-time buyers who might have been beaten to the punch by an investment fund to learn that in the past two to three years, four REIT shareholders under the immigrant investor programme have, by virtue of their investment in funds operating in Ireland, qualified for Irish residency. This is confirmed to us in a reply to a parliamentary question from the Minister for Justice. I do not believe this will sit well with most citizens in light of what we know about the activities of some REITs and their impact on the housing market, particularly on first-time buyers.

We need a full review of the tax treatment of these funds. We know they are not, as commercial entities, captured for corporation tax and capital gains tax purposes. We are also aware that they do not pay the universal social charge and PRSI on rental income like the common or garden landlord. How would they? Are the advantages they enjoy a form of unfair State aid? If so, is that anti-competitive? It is a question that ought to be explored further by this House in the coming weeks and in advance of the legislation the Government is committed to introducing shortly to give ultimate effect and bring legal certainty to the measure he is introducing this evening. These measures ought to be explored in much more detail because I cannot find a persuasive argument as to why corporation tax and capital gains tax are not charged on the commercial activities of these organisations. Although they may not accept them, everybody fully understands and can compute the reasons the structures were introduced several years ago but the fact is that, over the past ten years, with one or two minor exceptions, the tax treatment of the funds has gone largely unamended. It is time to radically change the Government’s approach to REITs, IREFs and other institutional investors in Irish property. The time to do it is now. Unfortunately, we cannot support this financial resolution because we do not believe it goes far enough. We cannot support a position whereby apartment complexes and schemes are exempted.

I am glad to have the opportunity to speak on this draft financial resolution. Like many, I watched the "Prime Time" special a fortnight ago in which we saw Peter Melrose and his fiancée, who are of a similar age to myself, standing outside Mullen Park, literally and metaphorically locked out from the houses there. They had no opportunity to buy them. It is what they had aspired to do. They aspired, after marriage, to have a family and settle down there. Is it not what every young couple dreams of? The couple was fully denied this because in came a cuckoo fund and bought up all the properties. It was appalling. It made for shocking viewing. In the following days, it became public knowledge that this practice was far more widespread. It has not happened thus far in my county, Clare, but it has caused major concern among constituents, particularly the young.

The resolution before us is positive. It seeks to impose a stamp duty charge of 10% on the multiple purchase of ten or more houses. Today is 19 May. As we transition from May into June, we will need to have flexibility. If this deterrent is not seen to be sufficient enough, we should consider an even higher rate of stamp duty and perhaps lower the threshold of ten properties to four or five. There was space for investment funds in the property market at one point in that they brought a surge of capital when there was very little. However, seeing them buying up properties in one fell swoop, denying young first-time buyers the opportunity to own a home, is definitely what we want to discourage.

The introduction of a higher stamp duty rate for the bulk purchase of houses is aimed at discouraging the practice whereby institutional investors buy up all the homes close to completion or fully completed, thereby depriving first-time buyers of their chance to own a home. The stamp duty proposed is ten times the normal rate of stamp duty applicable to residential properties and 30% higher than the rate that currently applies to commercial properties. It will add significantly to the purchasing cost, which it is hoped will be a deterrent. If it is not sufficient, we will need to increase the rate and lower the threshold for the number of houses. It is important that we ensure that owning a home, to which every young couple strives, is possible and remains a priority for the Government.

There was an exposé on properties this week by Clare FM in my county. The station examined rent pressure zones and the disparity in what people are paying in rent in different parts of the county and in the thresholds for rent pressure zones set by the Department. There are major anomalies. The current criterion is based on electoral divisions. As the Minister probably knows well from his constituency, these do not fully reflect the make-up of the locality. Some properties in my electoral area, Shannon, where I served up until 14 months ago, are being rented out for €1,500 per month while others are being rented for €700 or €800. The Kilrush electoral area encompasses the small village of Lissycasey, which is quite close to Ennis. The rents there are quite high but further out the Loop Head peninsula, in places such as Carrigaholt, the rents are low. Therefore, the metric is a little outdated. The income thresholds for people qualifying for social housing are also very outdated. They were set in 2011 when incomes, rents and property prices were very different. Everything seems to have changed in the interim, including taxation. Pay deals have been struck in the public service, for example. Many things have changed but the thresholds in place for those seeking to avail of social housing supports have not been amended in the same period. This needs to be examined. The measures being introduced tonight offer a safety net under the initiatives the Government announced ten days ago to make housing affordable once again to first-time buyers.

Yesterday evening, I received a message from a struggling first-time buyer. She asked me to read her message into the Dáil record today. It states:

Dear TDs, those who have a controlling hand over our future.

I am a 27 year old woman living with my parents.

I am lucky enough to have a high paying job.

However, I am a single woman, with friends who are in relationships and in settled living situations.

[When the Tuesday evening news broke], my first thought was 'Great. I will be living with my parents until I am either not single or else am 35.'

We should not be forced into relationships to afford to live out of our parents’ houses.

There is going to be a mass exodus from Ireland of those of us in our 20s, simply because we cannot afford to live ... [here].

When the choices are to live with parents until we can afford a shed in someone's back garden or to rent and starve, there is a serious problem.

I ask for a show of hands in the Dáil of who owns ... [their own home].

Imagine moving your entire family in with your parents, and not being allowed to move out again.

I promise, you would very quickly understand the extreme decline in people's mental health in the past decade.

[…]

You all have a responsibility to your people. Put caps on house prices. Set a price for a house of a certain size.

A pitiful 10% stamp duty is simply not good enough. Stop the vulture funds. Help your people.

The experience of this young woman, whose anger and frustration can be noted in her words, is the experience of tens of thousands of others, including singles and couples alike, first-time buyers, those who are separated and divorced who are seeking another home, those who lost their homes through no fault of their own owing to mortgage distress after the Celtic tiger, and, indeed, those trapped in negative equity who need to trade up but cannot. Over recent weeks, both the Minister for Finance and his colleague, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, promised that they would help them and stop the bulk buying of family homes, houses, duplexes and apartments that were intended at the outset to be purchased by working people. Instead, both in the financial resolution before us and the proposed planning reforms of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Government has offered them absolutely nothing. The pretence of action will do nothing to solve the problem.

Funds will continue to bulk buy family homes. Worse still, the exclusion of apartments means that if one wants to live in a city centre, high-cost rental will be the only option. This decision undermines the national planning framework, the climate action plan and the possibility of ever having a 15-minute city. It will have long-term consequences undermining the sustainable development of our city centres for years to come. In the suburbs, if you are single, a couple without children or a separated or divorced person, your future will also only be high-cost rental. Just as it has been for the past five years, so it will be for the remainder of this Government. There will be minimal investment in genuinely affordable homes for working people to rent or buy and the red carpet for big developers and institutional investors.

I wonder if the Minister understands how angry people are at the Government. Is the Government so out of touch with its own voters that it cannot see the damage it is doing to them, to our cities and to our housing system? Ineffective tax changes and ill-conceived knee-jerk changes to our planning system are not the solution. People need affordable homes to rent and to buy, not in their tens or hundreds but in their thousands. Last night, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party made it crystal clear that will happen only with a change of Government to one led by a party that is genuinely committed to delivering the thousands of affordable homes to rent and buy that working people desperately need and rightly deserve.

Earlier today, the Minister said the purpose of these measures was to protect homes for families. That was a telling remark. Clearly this Government does not believe that families live in apartments. It believes that apartments are for students and renters but not for families, it seems, so they are not protected and they are left to the vultures. It may come as news to the Minister that the majority of planning permissions granted last year were for apartments, with 26,000 granted compared with 18,000 granted for houses. Last year was the second year in a row that planning permissions for houses declined. This is a phenomenon that predates Covid. If you strip out one-off housing and social homes from the approximately 44,000 planning permissions granted last year, cuckoo funds will be free to feast on 75% of what remains. Is this what the Minister calls protection? He is slapping on an ineffective 10% stamp duty increase on the bulk purchase of 25% of available units. Is it any wonder the share price of I-RES REIT increased this morning after the Minister's measures were announced?

There is a crisis in housing and this Government just does not seem to get it. It does not want to get it. The Minister has abandoned Dublin, the location of 75% of planning permissions for apartments, and the mid-east, which comprises a further 14%. Fine Gael, in its approach to planning and development, introduced tax breaks for development funds and dismantled building standards to supercharge their profits. That created a monster and the Minister is refusing to cage it. We have build-to-rent monstrosities going up all over Dublin and other urban areas, which will never be available to buy. Nobody would want to live in them long-term anyway because building standards were shredded by the Minister's ex-colleague, Eoghan Murphy, in 2018. Since then, they can be smaller, have much less storage space, have no private outside space, and be devoid of communal amenities. As a result of the Minister's housing policies, these apartments are cheaper to build, more expensive to rent, and impossible to buy. That is a neat summation of this Government's housing policy. One such monstrosity was granted planning permission despite containing single-aspect, north-facing studios the size of car parking spaces. Is that the future the Minister wants for people in urban areas, many of whom are now working from home and living and working in substandard apartments while paying extortionate rent every month for the privilege?

Our housing market is broken. The only people whom it works for are the vultures and the cuckoo funds. Nothing in these measures will change that. We need mixed developments in which people want to live long term. Apartments that are an appropriate size for modern living and for families are a crucial element of that.

If the Minister really wanted to tackle this problem, he would do something about rents. High rents and high yields, along with the tax breaks, are why these funds are swarming on Irish property at present. Does the Minister know what the average rent is in Kildare? It is the county that apparently woke him up to the damage being caused by these funds. It is €1,495 per month. Does he know what cuckoo funds are demanding in rent for a two-bed home in a new estate in Maynooth? It is €1,995. They went nearly €2,000 per month in rent despite the fact that the sale price of those homes is cheaper than the average sale price in the county, at €270,000 compared with €292,000. Average homes attracting extraordinary rent is the nub of the problem. There is no cap on rental costs for new builds. Funds can charge what they like and we know that they do. Even if people are unwilling to pay these high rents, investment funds prefer to leave them empty rather than reduce the price. Up to 50% of some high-end developments in Dublin are empty at present. Funds can afford to leave them empty and ensure that rent levels remain artificially high. There is no penalty when they do that.

In Paris, property tax on vacant homes was tripled to 60% to address the problem of properties being left empty but we do nothing like that here. If rents had increased in line with inflation for the past ten years, they would have gone up by 5.1%. Instead, during that period, they have doubled. An entire generation of people has been betrayed by this Government and previous Fine Gael-led Governments. They have been called "Generation Rent" by some but they are actually "Generation Spent". They have insecure jobs, insecure homes and, as a consequence, insecure lives. The ESRI told us this week that they will be the first generation who will be worse off than their parents. This is the legacy of decades of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Governments. Their failed policies and mismanagement are situations that they have learned nothing whatsoever from. These proposals tonight, including the proposals about planning, will make no significant difference to that generation.

I am delighted to have an opportunity to speak on this issue. It is emotive and needs to be dealt with. I reject in their entirety the continuous allegations against Fine Gael and whoever else to the effect that we are all a bunch of hard right-wing opportunists and that we have no concern for the people. I remind everybody on all sides of the House that in the 1940s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Fine Gael itself, or in conjunction with the Labour Party, brought forward some of the most progressive legislation in the history of the State. If anybody does not believe that, let them go back to look at it again, both where it came from and the circumstances that prevailed at the time. Similarly, in respect of the housing situation, we might refer back to the 1980s.

The late Peter Barry, when Minister, introduced very important legislation six months after coming into office. It established the Housing Finance Agency loan system, which was the means by which many people who could not acquire a house beforehand acquired affordable housing. He was sneered at and regarded as a merchant prince but the legislation he introduced dealt with the housing situation quickly and in a very meaningful and serious way.

The Minister now proposes to introduce regulations to address the issues that have emerged. My only criticism is that we were not alerted to these issues by the Central Bank, the Financial Regulator, or by others on whom we rely to let us know what is happening in financial environments at an early stage. That did not happen and I have raised that issue separately in the relevant committee.

The Ceann Comhairle and I dealt with housing issues for many a long year in our constituency in Kildare. We dealt with these matters successfully and, through our own efforts and our example, we ensured that people on the average industrial wage were able to acquire and own their own houses, which they did. Various people tried to dissuade us but we prevailed.

The Minister has fired warning shots across the bows of the strategic investors, the vulture funds or whatever we want to call them. Anybody who intervenes in the provision and supply of housing at the present time in a way which will, in any way, increase the price of the product or restricts its availability to the market is not acting in the national interest. Let us remember that affordable housing is part of our taxation system and always has been. It was always necessary to ensure that there was a supply of houses available to people who wish to own their own house.

It should not be forgotten that, for many years, we were criticised by people who said that the real problem in this country is that people wish to own their own houses when they should rent properties. This was all rubbish, as the Ceann Comhairle and I know well. Security is what follows people. It is part of what they think about all the time. When they go to purchase or rent a house, the first thing they look for is security. Why do people want to buy a house? It is for reasons of security. It allows them to not be at any landlord's beck and call. They cannot be kicked out of the house on somebody else's whim. Under our Constitution, they are entitled to that and long may it continue.

I support the Minister's proposals but I ask that they be monitored very carefully in the very short term to ensure that the provisions now proposed do their job. To those who want to be cynical and say that it will not work, I say that we do not know whether it will. However, I remind everybody that we were all part of an all-party committee set up by the former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to study housing needs and what to do about them back in 2016. I remember well that I made proposals very similar to those now put forward by people in the Opposition in order to deal with the housing situation quickly and effectively. What I effectively said at the time was that the focus should be shifted to direct building for the local authorities. I did not necessarily mean direct building by the local authorities because local authorities do not employ plumbers, bricklayers and others needed to carry out work themselves. That is ineffective. It went out with the ark. The new system involves the contracting of a contractor to design, to build and to look for planning permission, if necessary. Planning permission is given at the behest of the local authority in any event. Building directly would provide houses that were affordable to rent through the local authority system or to purchase. They would all, however, be affordable. Let us not forget that there was always a provision allowing a tenant to buy a property after one year. That was very progressive and helpful and, as a result, an income derived from that property by way of mortgage.

Let us go back to what happened. The all-party housing committee made a mistake. It did not determine that there should be a total emphasis on the provision of affordable housing. It came up with a series of proposals because the parties could not agree. That is what the problem was and what it still is, as we can see. A series of measures were proposed and, although not everybody agreed to all of them, all agreed to some. The problem is that we have been pursuing that policy ever since. We are pursuing it to this day and will continue to do so. As long as too many options are available, with each doing a little bit, some will conflict with others, which will cause confusion and create obstacles. We will end up in a situation in which each is succeeding a little bit but in which, in the final analysis, we will not reach our targets.

I agree with the measures the Minister is proposing. Various people will dispute whether they are severe enough to do the job required. I honestly do not know if they are but we will need to know fairly soon. If these particular measures do not do the job expected of them, we will have to go back again.

People have a right to feel we are thinking about their interests at some stage. There is not much sense in thinking about our own interests; we have to think about their interests. We have to be seen to respond to their needs as they arise. Like everybody else, I get emails and from time to time some of them say that I speak strangely for a member of Fine Gael. I do not. I have spoken like this all of my life, as the Ceann Comhairle well knows. He spoke the same way. The fact of that matter is that we never spoke in a way that suggested we were adversely disposed to our electorate, by which I mean all of the electorate. They are entitled to live and to benefit from their constitutional rights at all times. This pertains in the provision of homes, jobs and infrastructure. Housing is a vital part of our infrastructure. We need to invest more in it and to deal with these issues now.

One of the mistakes the all-party housing committee made was that it did not identify the size of the problem we faced. I am not certain that we have done so yet. We are told that we have to build 35,000 houses a year. I believe we need to build 55,000 houses for each of the next two or three years and maybe longer. If we look at our individual local authorities, we see that the numbers on housing waiting lists are increasing. That should not be. I know that the onset of Covid interrupted matters and that we previously had the financial crash and the housing crash but we have to get out of the situation in which we have found ourselves at some stage. We need to put ourselves on a solid financial footing insofar as the provision of housing for our population is concerned. I refer to all of the population. Nobody should be left out or feel they are likely to be left out. They are all entitled to the best that can be given under our Constitution.

As I have said before in the House, I have already tried this. I know that other Members from our county have done the same thing and proved that houses could be produced at a fraction of the cost at which they were placed on the market in the middle of the Celtic tiger. If that could be done then, it can still be done. We have to set about finding the ways and means to do it. As I said at the beginning, I hope that these measures are sufficient. If they are not, we will have to move again. The Minister knows this. We have discussed it many times. We have to make it quite clear that no government should act at the behest of powerful financial organisations that can move deckchairs from under the people sitting on them. We should never tolerate that.

We must with full resolve provide more houses than we have targeted in order to meet the full extent of demand.

Does this motion, which the Minister has speedily introduced, represent progress? Yes, it does. Does it go far enough? No, it does not. Was the Government dragged kicking and screaming by us, other Opposition parties and the public into making these changes? Yes, it was.

Yet again, large investment funds with the sole interest of making mega profits from the misery of young families desperate to purchase their own homes were allowed into our country at the behest of this and previous Fine Gael Governments to destroy our housing system. After 2008 when the Minister's colleagues in Fianna Fáil last collapsed our economy, the then Government welcomed in the vulture funds to pick at the carcases of housing. This Government has now allowed the cuckoos to come in and sing all the way to the bank. Increased rents and house prices are out of control for most workers and families, who are just looking to get on in life.

For the past few weeks, I have listened to the Government trying to shift the blame for the housing crisis to my party, Sinn Féin, because it apparently held up the building of houses. The Government has even tried to criticise us for speaking against the involvement of the private sector in our housing system. Families and young people across the State who are living with their parents or paying astronomical rents and are slowly resigning themselves to being a locked out generation unable to purchase a home are not fools.

All day and every day, I will defend the building of public housing on public land, for example, the site on Oscar Traynor Road. As the Minister for Finance knows, the majority of councillors on Dublin City Council made a proposal for 100% social and affordable homes on that site. Despite the proposal being with the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage since February and repeated correspondence from the mayor, the Minister has still not thrown his weight behind it. I will always defend houses being sold to young people on an affordable basis. I will always promote rental properties being available at a affordable price.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have made a complete hames of housing policy. It started in the late 1990s when, overnight, Fianna Fáil changed its public policy of building social housing and commodified a roof over a family's head for profit for the highest bidder. This change was single-handedly responsible for crashing the economy in 2008 and giving control of our country to the International Monetary Fund, IMF. Former Deputy Michael Noonan, who was in charge of rebalancing the economy, believed that the market would balance itself out. The vultures and cuckoos flew in and exploited and damaged our housing market further. As such, no lectures will be taken by Sinn Féin for the mess that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have created. Blame for this crisis lies squarely and only on both of those parties equally. We are the laughing stock of Europe because of the mess that successive Irish Governments have made of housing provision. This is to the detriment of our own people. Shame on you.

The people are not fools. The Government can try to deflect and shift blame elsewhere, but that will not wash. The people, in particular young people, will have their say at the next election whenever this coalition of chaos falls. The proof will be in the pudding then. Those who truly want to build a new housing system will get their chance. Of that I have no doubt.

I would like it noted that People Before Profit proposed three amendments to the Government's motion, all of which have been ruled out of order. For the record, I should say what they were. First, we proposed that the stamp duty should be 90%, not 10% as the Government is proposing or 15% or 17% as the other Opposition parties are proposing. We do not just need to disincentivise funds or make purchasing a little more costly. Rather, we need to exclude them completely from the market so that they cannot bulk purchase houses, price people out of the market and control the prices and rents therein. Second, we proposed that the threshold at which the higher stamp duty kicked in would not be ten properties, but two. In other words, there could be no multiple purchases by these profit-hungry funds. Third, apartments should be included.

The Government will not accept any of these amendments, of course. With this motion, it is simply responding to the fury that people felt as a result of seeing these cuckoos swooping in and purchasing whole estates. Since the Government had to be seen to be doing something, it has engineered to do the absolute minimum, no doubt in deep consultation with the very cuckoo funds and vulture funds that it is supposed to be trying to address. The Government is not planning or even attempt to deal with the cuckoo and vulture funds because it is up to its neck in this with them and has been since at least 2011 or 2012 shortly after the Fine Gael-Labour Party Government came into office when it held multiple meetings with them to invite them into Ireland, it informed them of the tax benefits that they could have by investing in Irish property, for example, paying no tax on their rental revenues or capital gains, and the National Asset Management Agency, NAMA, sold off property worth more than €40 billion with the Government's active encouragement. The same funds that were invited in by the Fine Gael-Labour Party Government are now being given the opportunity to move into other sectors of the housing market.

The extent of what is happening is terrifying. One would think that the Government had learned its lesson when all of these policies led to the worst housing and homelessness crisis in the history of the State, with rents and house prices going off the Richter scale and 80% to 90% of workers being priced out of the purchase market or asked to pay rents that no worker can afford of €2,000, €2,500 or €3,000 per month, but what is happening has actually got worse. I will elaborate on a point that I made earlier today. People should Google Housing Together. Its website reads:

A Unique Opportunity For Investors Seeking Capital Growth And Secure Income

Government Backed Residential Property Investment

By the way, this relates to the provision of social housing. It is about capital growth and secure incomes for investors. So far, Housing Together has bought property worth €50 million and leased it to local authorities at extortionate rates. As I recited to the Taoiseach, Housing Together boasts that it will achieve an annual average yield of 5%, high incomes at low risk, the opportunity to lock in rents linked to inflation, no maintenance, no voids, no letting fees and no advertising costs.

It further boasts, giving examples, that, say, a 25-year lease on a two-bedroom apartment in Dublin will net investors €15,279 a year in rent. At the end of a 25-year to 30-year lease, they will have made €475,000, which is a yield of approximately 7.8%, and they will still own the asset. The State will have paid through the nose and these people will have made an absolute fortune. More millionaires will have been made who did absolutely nothing except invest in "Government-backed investment opportunities". At the end of it all, the State will own nothing. The funds can flog the assets off and the people in so-called social housing can be ditched, just like the HAP residents in St. Helen's Court face being thrown out because a vulture fund decided it wants vacant possession to drive up the value of the property. That will be happening on a mass scale because of Government policy.

At the other end of this twisted equation and heist, we have the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, ISIF, investing in the funds that are doing this kind of thing. When the Government says we need these funds financed, I say we do not. We are already financing them through the ISIF, HAP payments, lease payments, RAS payments and the tax loopholes that allow them to pay no tax. They run off with the asset and the profits and we get nothing. We get neither affordable rents nor affordable housing. Why do we not use our capital to invest in public and affordable housing that is genuinely affordable, that we will own at the end of it and where the profits, instead of going into the pockets of these bloodsuckers and vultures, go into the coffers of the State and the people?

The proposal that is before us will do nothing other than reinforce the reality that the Government is led by the interests of developers, vulture funds and cuckoo funds. I represent the constituency of Dublin Bay South where, generation after generation, in communities like those in Pearse Street, Kevin Street, Ringsend and around the Iveagh Trust, people have grown up in apartments and flats. Those apartments and flats are homes as well and the inner-city communities who live in them matter. Unless apartments are included in measures to tackle cuckoo funds, we will witness the fast-tracking of ordinary working families being pushed out of their communities.

Many people in the inner city believe there is already a process of social cleansing taking place. The gentrification of long-established working-class communities has been gathering pace. These proposals will mean the Government is, in effect, abandoning inner-city communities and handing the inner city over to vulture funds. People who grew up in areas like Ringsend, Pearse Street, Rathmines and Harold's Cross are well used to not being able to afford a home locally. The big companies like Google and Facebook have been moving into urban villages like Irishtown and Harold's Cross. As they move in, prices soar and become increasingly unaffordable. Huge areas of the inner city are made up of apartments and flats. The docklands area is almost all apartments.

The plan for the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend will see 3,500 new homes, all of them apartments. These proposals will have no impact on that plan. What will stop vulture funds from coming in and buying up all the apartments on the site? This resolution certainly will not. What will the Minister say to the residents in Irishtown who were hoping to buy an affordable house there? The Irish Glass Bottle Housing Action Group, which has fought hard for new homes on the site, fears there will be no affordable homes delivered. A home that costs €450,000 is not affordable. The group has not been reassured by the Government or Dublin City Council that the homes promised by the previous Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage will be delivered. These proposals will not protect those 3,500 new homes from vulture or cuckoo funds.

In ten years' time, all of the 3,500 new homes on the Poolbeg Peninsula could well be owned by a vulture fund charging vast amounts in rent. There will be no one who went to primary school in Ringsend or Pearse Street living in those apartments because they will not be able to afford them. A total of 900 of the homes planned for construction on the Irish Glass Bottle site will be public and affordable. That means they will cost €450,000, which is not affordable. It is unlikely that many of the children who went to Marian College, Ringsend College or Westland Row CBS will be able to afford them. The idea that they will be classed as affordable at a price of €450,000 is mind-boggling.

Project Ireland 2040 identifies as a key component of enabling future growth in Ireland. It states, "Identifying a number of ambitious large-scale regeneration areas for the provision of new housing and employment throughout the city and metropolitan area and the measures required to facilitate them as integrated, sustainable development projects." What is sustainable about letting investment funds buy up the bulk of apartments in Dublin city? What is sustainable about enabling those funds to rent out apartments for sky-high rents? What is sustainable about the funds' practice of leaving apartments empty for years if the sky-high rent prices cannot be obtained? There is a prime example of this in the Capital Dock development, a stone's throw from Whelan House in Ringsend and Pearse House on Pearse Street. The rent for a two-bedroom apartment there is €4,000 per month. The local community lost out when the Part V provision for Capital Dock was delivered outside the area. The rents are only affordable for some senior executives in the construction and technology sectors, which means the locals lose out again. This sort of development is not sustainable unless one is a lucky winner of the EuroMillions draw. How can anyone take seriously what the Government says about making Dublin a more liveable and sustainable city when it continues to allow these cuckoo funds to run riot?

I am sharing time with Deputy Tóibín. Home buyers should not have to compete with investment funds. While the measure before us is a starting point in tackling this issue, it is no more than that. I fear that the 10% stamp duty provision does not go far enough. It was pointed out earlier today that share prices in the largest REIT in Ireland went up 4% this morning on foot of the Government announcement. That has to give rise to genuine concern for all of us in the House. I want a commitment from the Minister that this measure will be reviewed and revisited within the next 20 weeks.

In the meantime, we need to look to other jurisdictions to see what works and does not work. We need to look at the incentives that are in place and go through them thoroughly. At present, we are providing tax incentives to encourage investment from these particular funds. In fact, there is a double incentive provided. A total of €223 million in HAP payments is going into these investment funds, with a guaranteed return of a 4% increase in rents per annum. That is in addition to the tax incentives and structures that are in place. Availing of the HAP payments means the funds do not have to source the tenants or deal with vacancies or maintenance, and the properties are handed back to them at the end of a ten-year, 15-year or 25-year lease to the local authority. For the investors, there is a high-income, low-risk return and a tax incentive. The existence of this direct double benefit needs to be revisited.

At the same time, we are not seeing a reduction in the price of rental accommodation in Dublin city.

If you look at daft.ie or myhome.ie today, you will see that a one-bedroom apartment in the Dublin suburbs costs a minimum of €2,000 a month and that a two-bedroom apartment costs €2,500. These are not affordable rents, and that really needs to be addressed.

What I find frustrating - and I have taken up this point with the Minister previously - is the fact that we provide security of tenure for cows in fields but not for children in rented homes. Up to the 2000s, we had a model of leasing farmland which was based on an 11-month lease and farmers could not plan for a future beyond that. The Government of the day took a decision to bring in a tax allowance to incentivise farmers to lease their lands long-term for a minimum of five years. Additional incentives were subsequently introduced to allow for ten- and even 15-year leases. As a result, more than half of the land in this country that is leased out is leased out long-term and this provides security to the farmer actively farming the land. While we are prepared to put those structures in place for farmers for the management of cattle and farmland, we have failed to do anything for security of tenure on a long-term basis for people in rental accommodation in respect of the amount of rent they pay or the terms of their leases. As a minimum condition of the incentives in place for the organisations that are buying up apartment blocks across the country, they should guarantee fixed rents and security of tenure for their tenants over the term of those incentives. This would encourage the development of a long-term leasing approach in this country, which is far more sensible and more along the lines of the European model and would at least provide some security for families who cannot afford to source houses of their own. One of the biggest problems we have in this country with families finding themselves homeless is the fact of the churning of accommodation, whereby the lease on the rental accommodation ends up lapsing and then the families end up trying to find alternative accommodation. Such a model would help to address that.

They say there are five stages of grief. It seems to me there are also five stages of Fine Gael in government: first, introduce a red carpet and a tax regime for cuckoo funds; second, invest in those same cuckoo funds; third, suffer amnesia and forget anything has happened; fourth, have a political wobble as you see your support in a key target voting market being wiped out; and, fifth, rush through half measures to seek cover. By God, there is a locked-out generation in this country at the moment. This is probably the first time in hundreds of years that we have had a complete generation that is economically worse off than the generation before. For hundreds of years, each generation improved economically but that is reversing for the first time now. This has not happened by accident. The dysfunction that exists in the market is a direct result of Fine Gael policies. I have had this discussion with the Minister numerous times and I had it with his predecessor, Michael Noonan. The red carpet was rolled out for vulture funds and REITs. The playing field was tilted in favour of big international investors in an effort literally to put the floor under prices in the housing market and to improve the balance sheets of the banks in this country. The problem, however, is that it has ended up at this stage creating a new tenant class that has not been seen since the time of the landlords. The truth of the matter is that unless the Government reverses those competitive advantages that each of these international investors has over families seeking to put a roof over the heads of their children, this situation will continue.

What level of economic modelling has the Minister done to indicate what result will come in the market from an increase in the stamp duty rate that is included in this financial resolution? Has he done any economic modelling whatsoever? This could go a number of ways. These same international investors could have a big enough yield to be able to deal with the increase in stamp duty. This could have no effect at all on their purchasing decisions. Their business model may not change as a result of this. Alternatively, they could still purchase those same units and pass the cost change on to the renter, as often happens when stamp duties increase. I would like the Minister to answer that question in his closing remarks. What economic modelling has been done in respect of this increase in the stamp duty rate?

I am delighted to be able to say a few words on this rushed legislation. We are closing the stable door long after the horse has bolted. The horses have been dancing around the Curragh. We saw before the financial crash the people who were visiting the tents, playing golf, attending race meetings and minding the horses. We saw where that got us. We invited these investors in. I accept that there were a number of problems at the time, however. We could not get money. Our banks were broke - or they were supposed to be. We painfully bailed them out, are bailing them out and will be bailing them out, and our grandchildren will too.

To have what is going on now unabated is shocking. I am not one to demonise every builder and developer because we need people to build houses for people to live in, but there has to be value for money and the homes have to be affordable. The builder has to make a small profit. Most builders are decent. However, then there is this carry-on with these cuckoo funds and the vulture funds. I remember the former Minister, Michael Noonan, telling us in the Dáil that the vulture funds were necessary. We are being told these cuckoo funds are necessary as well. How necessary are they, though? We needed them at the time but we got back on the road. We should be able to build the houses ourselves without having these funds making a profit. Does the Government think this legislation will work? Share prices at some of the companies involved were actually up by 2% this morning, so they are laughing all the way to the bank, literally. It is a very serious situation if they can twiddle successive Governments around on their little fingers, the lúidín, twisting and throwing them around.

We are ineffective with the banks in the legislation we pass, with the meat barons, with the insurance companies and with everything else that affects our people and their sovereign right to live out their lives with some modicum of decency and housing and liberty. We have seen those rights diminished completely in the past 13 months and the Government will diminish them again next week or the week after with another motion to go through here. We are at the behest of and we obey Europe and we obey the international funders and everyone else, but our own people? Defend them? No. I do not know how the people are so slow to see what is going on or how they do not have them all pulled and thrown out of government. It is Tweedledum or Tweedledee. The previous Government was backed up by the current Taoiseach, Deputy Micheál Martin, with confidence and supply. He is now denying he was in there, and Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are blaming each other back and forward. Now the jolly mixture includes the Greens. They will not leave us cut a clipping. They will not leave us do anything.

The price of building is going up and we cannot see the problem. It is bizarre. It is very strange. The system in this country is ineffective and unable to deal with any of these funds or vulture funds. We see the terror that is going on in the courts with the evictions, even through the pandemic, and they are still going on. Those tenants are waiting now, their backs up against the wall. Farm land and family homes are now being put up overnight on a website, sold maybe in two hours without the farmer even knowing. What did Dan Breen, Seán Treacy, Michael Collins and Pat Crowe fight for? What did they all fight for at Soloheadbeg? For this? I say "No". I cannot support this.

I have heard so much about the cuckoo here.

It is a grand thing to hear the cuckoo under Mangerton Mountain or around the Roughty River. It was very wrong to give these funds that name. It is such a lovely bird that comes to our shores every year. It is grand to be listening to the ding-dong about housing that has been going on here over the last four or five years. It is clear that the Government needs to tackle the investment funds and try to level the playing pitch. It was very wrong to see young couples competing against these massive investment funds to try to put a roof over their own heads, only to be blown out of it by these funds which are being incentivised by the Government. That incentivisation must stop.

There are other things we need to do to help young couples in Kerry and in every other county up and down the country. We have a regulator going around rezoning land now in all our counties. The regulator is even dezoning serviced land. We have another scenario where it finishes up with only one square of land zoned and that developer then has a monopoly and can charge whatever he or she wants to charge. We need to zone enough land and let there be competition or else forget about zoning and let every planning application stand on its own when it is submitted to the local authority, Kerry County Council, Cork County Council or wherever. However, it is wrong to give any developer or investment company a monopoly. I have nothing against developers because if it were not for developers and builders, we would have no houses.

There are also designations, like urban-generated housing, to stop people building outside towns. Tat is actually hurting the people outside the towns in the first place. People who do not own land and want to buy a site are stopped from buying a site, the same as the people coming out and denying them the chance of building in their own area. It is very wrong.

Places are not serviced. People need to start on the ground with sewerage schemes and water schemes. Our infrastructure is falling asunder. Different things are happening at the present time. Irish Water is charging €6,500 per house in a development. Insulation is going up by 40%. What are we going to do about it?

All right, Deputy.

There are other levies and regulations. Steel is up by 50%. I ask the Government to bring back the tenant purchase scheme. Many people would buy out their house and give back the funds so that they could build another house.

Thank you very much.

A Cheann Comhairle, I have just one last thing. I ask the Minister to think of giving a small grant to the young couple or the first-time builder, building their own house-----

Thank you, Deputy. You have made your point.

-----not the kind of rigamarole that the Government has, that hardly anyone is qualified for.

I thank all Deputies for their contributions on this very important motion. Many different allegations have been made this evening regarding my intention, the intention of my party and indeed the intention of the Government in how we want to meet the housing needs of our country and the lack of progress that we have made. Allegations have been made about my intentions regarding this resolution.

Let us consider what happened with housing under the last Government while acknowledging that for many it was not enough and while acknowledging that many people wanted to see more progress. During the period of the last Government, in the aftermath of a financial crisis, in the aftermath of our country, our economy and our ability to build houses all being brought to their knees, that Government saw the delivery of 86,000 homes over four years. It saw 30,000 families removed from the social housing list and began the process of the Government being able to directly build homes in our country. We saw it increase from a few hundred homes per year in the aftermath of the financial crisis to 5,000 to 6,000 homes per year.

I make this point while again acknowledging that for too many the rent they are paying is too high and that for too many the promise of being able to own their own home is still out of reach. I understand that. I understand what drives the demand on the Government to do more. However, over recent years I have outlined the progress that was made. That is the number of homes that were built and the number of families, our fellow citizens, who were taken off waiting lists for houses. The Government is determined to build upon that progress.

There has been more than €3 billion worth of investment in either directly building homes or enabling them to be built. For 2021 and probably for 2020, the largest single builder of homes within our country, and probably the largest single purchaser of homes within our country, was the State. We did so in an effort to respond to the issues that are motivating the contributions of most Deputies this evening.

Many who are looking in at this debate are asking what this House can offer, what the Opposition can offer to respond to the urgent issues, given the anxiety that I know is there. I think they will probably be deeply confused by what they have heard from the Opposition this evening. Opposition Deputies are against anybody who wants to build homes on any scale. They have been against any bank that wants to lend to us. They are against anybody who wants to invest funding in our country, to have savings from elsewhere channelled into our country to build homes.

The question is: how will they build the homes? Where will they come from? It is a relevant question because I listened to Deputy Doherty's contribution in particular. How can I reconcile what I hear from Deputy Doherty with the fact that in the city he speaks about, whose centre I have the great privilege of representing, every time any land becomes available to be rezoned to allow homes to be built, his party votes against it? Sinn Féin voted against rezoning ten to 12 different light industrial use areas on which public housing could be built on private land.

What Sinn Féin Deputies will say in response to the argument that I make - if they accept my ability to put an argument forward and most of the time they do not - is that the Government should do it. I agree that the Government should build. That is why we have a budget of €3 billion this year. That is why the Government is building 5,000 or 6,000 homes either indirectly through approved housing bodies or directly through local authorities. Any time the Government looks to do more, through the Land Development Agency or through the Affordable Housing Bill that the Government has introduced, Sinn Féin will vote against it. On the one hand, it wants the Government to do more, but on the other hand, when the Government introduces measures aiming to do more, they are rejected by Sinn Féin.

The Opposition is always - correctly - calling for more houses to be built. I understand that need and I want to meet that need. The Opposition is calling for rents to be more affordable, for the price of a home to come down. For those who are involved in building a home, for those who may have to lend for that home to be built, for those who may invest in housing in our country to see that housing being delivered at some point in the future - housing that I want to be affordable - the message from the Opposition here this evening is that it is always against that happening.

I acknowledge that the Government has a leading role to play in the homes that need to be built - more than 330,000 homes in a decade. The Government has a role to play in directly building affordable housing through our local authorities and in supporting our approved housing bodies. That is what the Government is doing. However, there is a role for savings in our own country and savings from other parts of the world to be channelled into the provision of housing in our country.

We are a small economy with two pillar banks and one smaller bank. I want these homes to be built because I also represent and have the privilege of serving those generations, that is, those citizens who have such deep concerns about what their future is. If we want those homes to be built, they will be built through an active Government and a role for the private sector, both coming together. The job of the Government in the coming years will be to harness both to respond to the need, to meet the urgency and to support our citizens in the quest that many of them have for lower rents and more affordable housing. It is a mission to which I am committed.

On some of the central charges that have been put here this evening regarding why apartments have been excluded from the taxation measures in front of the House, that is because of my view and that of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage that were they to be included, those apartments would not be built. In responding to the great demand and urgency we know is there, we need supply. We need more apartments to be built in cities all over the country for rental use to respond to the rental needs the Opposition identify regularly, as they should. They also are needed for apartments that are affordable to buy and to live in in our city centres for families, for our citizens and for our workers.

On the charges that have been made about REITs and IREFs, I acknowledge that this is a contested area and that there are concerns in this regard. It also should be acknowledged that because of changes that were made by me in a recent Finance Bill, filings show that the level of taxation that is being paid by IREFs now stands at 18.4% of all of the revenue they have declared for taxable purposes. That is the tax that they pay. As some of the Opposition know, the way that the rest of the taxes are paid for REITs and indeed for IREFs is at the time the income or returns that they make are distributed to those who invest in them. They pay an exit tax, a withholding tax, and after those taxes have been paid and when income is distributed to the investors, it is at that point that the tax is paid, whether that be corporate or income tax, but that is where this occurs.

In conclusion, the reason this measure is being taken is to deal with an issue which I acknowledge has caused much public concern and this motion is a response to that issue. I believe this motion will be sufficient and the measure that is being proposed here this evening, with duty of 10% on more than ten homes, is a strong response to the urgency of this issue. It is just one part of the many different measures which this Government has in place to address the needs, issues, worries and concerns that have been raised here this evening and which I, the Minister, Deputy Darragh O’Brien, and the Government are determined to do everything we can to deal with. I thank the Ceann Comhairle.

It now falls to us to consider the three amendments which are in order. Amendment No. 12 has been moved by Deputy Doherty. How stands the amendment Deputy Doherty?

Are there arrangements in terms of the amendments?

No. We are going to deal with the three amendments now.

In that respect, I have moved the amendment and I will push it to a vote. It is an amendment to include apartments under the scope of the higher rate of stamp duty. I say to the Minister once again, apartments are also homes.

The Deputy has made that point earlier.

I wish to speak to that amendment if possible, a Cheann Comhairle, in circumstances where-----

No, the Deputy may not.

If I can just explain the circumstances and there will be time for that within 30 seconds. In circumstances where the Ceann Comhairle specifically stated that I was not here, I was in the convention centre. There was a Government slot ahead of mine. When the Government were supposed to take a slot, I was waiting to see a Government speaker, in which case I would have taken my turn. We are told not to be here unnecessarily. I was in the convention centre waiting to speak and a Government speaker did not show up. I am not complaining but merely am explaining the fact that I was here and that I wish to speak on this issue. If the Ceann Comhairle states that I cannot speak on the amendment that is fine, but I wish to register the fact that I am here and that I am willing and hoping to contribute to this important debate.

We can acknowledge that the Deputy is here, that he was in the building and that he wishes to participate but I am afraid the debate is over. All that falls to us to do now is to deal with the three amendments. We are not going to have a debate on any of them.

We should note for the record of the Dáil that a whole series of other amendments were submitted and were ruled out of order, including three proposed by my party.

The amendments were routinely ruled out of order because they fell foul of Standing Order 211.

That is the problem. You try to put in an amendment that will actually achieve something and it gets ruled out of order.

No. This is a legislative assembly that must act in accordance with our own Standing Orders that we have adopted. If amendments are tabled but are contrary to the provisions of the Standing Order, then they must be ruled out of order.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 60; Níl, 79; Staon, 0.

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Níl

  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn; Níl, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 13:

After section 31E, to insert the following new section:

"Report on Application of a 17 per cent Stamp Duty Charge on the Purchase of Residential Property by Investment Funds

31F. The Minister shall within 14 days from the passing of this Resolution prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on the imposition of a 17 per cent stamp duty charge on the purchase of all residential property by investment funds."

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 61; Níl, 79; Staon, 0.

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Níl

  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn; Níl, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 14:

After section 31E, to insert the following new section:

"Report on Ending the Tax Regime applicable to Investment Funds in the Residential Property Market

31F. The Minister shall within 14 days from the passing of this Resolution prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on the tax status enjoyed by investment funds in the residential property market and the application of corporation tax on the rental profits of, and the application of, capital gains tax on the disposal of assets by, investment funds in the residential property market, including Irish Real Estate Funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts."

The amendment applies to corporation tax on profits of funds and capital gains tax, CGT, on the disposal of other assets.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 61; Níl, 79; Staon, 0.

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Níl

  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn; Níl, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion agreed to.