Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Questions (127)

Joan Burton

Question:

127. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the cost of the help to buy scheme in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; the projected full year cost in 2019; the number of purchases supported in each year and the projected full year numbers for 2019; his plans to extend the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30291/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Help to Buy incentive (HTB) was announced in Budget 2017 and backdated to apply from 19 Jul 2016.

I am advised by Revenue that the cost of the scheme by each year of its operation is set out in the following table.

Year

Cost (€M)

2019*

35.4

2018

73.2

2017

50.5

2016

18.4

*to 31 May 2019

At the end of 2017, 5,392 HTB claims had been approved, this includes a number of claims in respect of the period 19 July 2016 to 31 December 2016. 4,957 claims were approved in 2018 and 2,388 in the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 May 2019.

HTB is a demand led incentive and, as such, it is not possible to give a precise estimate of cost outturn or claims for 2019.

HTB is scheduled to expire on 31 December 2019. This is provided for in Section 477C of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. As is normal practice, the role and operation of the incentive is due to be examined in the context of the forthcoming Budget and Finance Bill process. It would be premature to anticipate the outcome of such an examination.

I am informed by Revenue that the annual Help To Buy (HTB) reports to end 2017 and end 2018 are available on the Revenue website at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/htb/htb-yearly.aspx. The latest monthly HTB report can be found on the Revenue website at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/htb/htb-monthly.aspx. This report includes the cumulative total of claims and costs to-date under the Scheme.