The rent relief tax credit was abolished in Budget 2011 and is no longer available to those that commenced renting for the first time from 8 December 2010. This followed a recommendation in the 2009 report by the Commission on Taxation that rent relief should be discontinued. The view of this independent commission was that, in the same manner in which mortgage interest relief increases the cost of housing, rent relief increases the cost of private rented accommodation.
The annual cost of such a tax credit, operating on a refundable basis, would depend on the number of those renting, other than those who are in receipt of rental support from the State, and the amount of rent paid by them each year.
I am advised that there is no reliable basis available on which to estimate the potential cost of the introduction of a tax relief as described by the Deputy. However, according to Census 2016 data, the private rented sector amounts to approximately 310,000 units. This figure includes those in receipt of rental support from the State. It is clear, therefore, that the costs involved would be likely to be very significant.