Thursday, 15 July 2021

Ceisteanna (163)

Emer Higgins


163. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to proposals from a group (details supplied) regarding income tax relief for owner-occupiers and VAT rebates for social landlords; his plans to implement these measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38778/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, has established an Independent Working Group to examine the issue of defective housing. Officials from my Department participate in this Working Group. The objectives of the group are to identify the scope of relevant significant defects in housing, to evaluate the scale of housing affected, to propose a means of prioritising defects, to evaluate the cost of remediation, to recommend appropriate mechanisms for resolving defects and, to consider financing options in line with the Programme for Government commitment to identifying options for those impacted by defects to access low-cost, long-term finance.

My attention has been drawn to the proposals referred to by the Deputy. Generally, proposals for such measures are assessed in accordance with my Department's Tax Expenditure Guidelines. These make clear that it is important that any policy proposal which involves tax expenditures should only occur in limited circumstances, for example where there are demonstrable market failures. In particular, they provide that a tax-based incentive should only be considered where it would be more efficient than a direct expenditure intervention. The introduction of such measures is a matter that would fall to be considered in the context of Budget 2022 and the subsequent Finance Bill.