Tuesday, 8 October 2019
Budget 2020: Statements
Neither does VAT or any other tax. It does not happen. There will be no change in the local property tax until 2021. Perhaps the Senators will be in Government and there will be a person from Sinn Féin in this position. They can then get rid of it and bring in a wealth tax, charge as they see fit and see how it works, because make no mistake about it, capital is very mobile and it will go very quickly. I have spoken about the housing assistance payment, HAP, which is a good option.
Regarding stamp duty on small residential sites, stamp duty revenues are very buoyant. We are at 7.5% when they used to be 9%. During the emergency, they went back to 2%. In last year's budget, we brought them back up to 6%, which is where they should be. I am not too sure whether it should be for smaller residential sites. Regarding the point made by Senator Boyhan about the Moorhead report, it is something that is being considered. I do not have an update on it.
Regarding Senator Kieran O'Donnell's point about the living city initiative not working, we can ask the section to have a look at it. Regarding the point about Shannon Airport as a major European hub, I must admit that I am not completely au faitwith this.
The working family payment is probably one of the best payments in the social protection budget. It used to be the family income supplement. It is not a huge quantity of money. The Senators may not agree with the Taoiseach when he spoke about reducing the threshold where people paid a higher rate, but we must look at the facts. Senator Gavan and a number of other speakers spoke about the lower paid and the minimum wage. About one third of people who work in this State pay no tax. That is appropriate. Many people are part-time workers who work a certain number of hours, which suits them at a particular point in their lives such as rearing families. About a third of people pay nothing.