The Green Party is in favour of placing a new charge on vacant properties, to address the current housing crisis.
That is one of several recommendations in a new report on the commission on tax and welfare, which the government published on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022.
The Green Party says that the measure could “help transform towns across Ireland”.
Deputy Matthews stated that the party encourages the reuse of vacant and derelict buildings to provide “much needed” homes.
“Across our towns and cities, there are many thousands of buildings that are suitable for conversion and refurbishment for homes for families and individuals.”
“Bringing life back to town centres is key a Green Party policy. This is good for local business and the viability of public transport and other public services.”
Moreover, another one of the recommendations is a new working-age assistance payment.
This, the party says, would provide “greater” support to low and middle-income workers who are currently struggling with increases in the cost of living.
The report also recommends the phasing out of fossil fuel tax subsidies and “a continuation” of the government’s planned increases to the carbon tax.
Site value tax
The report also supports the Green Party’s “long-standing policy” by recommending the replacement of commercial rates with a site value tax.
This measure, it believes, would help to “bring life back” to towns and cities by “spurring” new development on under-used urban land.
Wicklow TD and Green Party Spokesperson on Planning, Steven Matthew, published a bill on vacancy earlier this year, which seeks to bring approximately 50,000 vacant homes back into use.
Another recommendation to support businesses is to improve access to research and development tax credits and reliefs for small businesses and new, innovative start-ups.
Senator Róisín Garvey, the party spokesperson for enterprise, said the recommendation would offer a “welcome boost” to smaller enterprises.
She believes there is a need to rebalance the Irish economy, which is currently “overly reliant” on large multinational corporations.
“The best way to do this is to support our own innovative, home-grown businesses.”
“The commission’s recommendations which seek to improve access to research and development tax credit, would go a significant way towards helping this process,” Senator Garvey concluded.
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