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Tánaiste tells colleagues that LPT will reduce for some south Dublin homeowners amid by-election fears

A Dublin Bay South by-election will take place this year after Eoghan Murphy stepped down as a TD.

Image: Leah Farrell

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has moved to ease fears that the announcement on the Local Property Tax (LPT) will impact the party’s chances in the Dublin Bay South by-election.

Giving examples that had been worked out for some properties, he said some homeowners in south Dublin will see reductions in their local property tax bills, not increases. 

He said many homes in the area have seen a fall in valuation, stating that house prices did not rise faster than the national average so people will either pay the same or a see a reduction.

While he said it was not an exact science, homes with a new valuation more than 75% higher than the last will pay more, with homes over €3m likely to see a rise.

New valuations are being done in November.

With revised bands and rates, he said 60% of people would pay the same or less with 30% paying €90 more.

He said all revenue will now go directly to each local authority which will result in a huge increase for some.

The Tánaiste said now is the right time for the local property tax decision as otherwise there would be more anomalies in the system.

He said said the National Economic Recovery Plan aims to have 2.5m people in work by 2024 with €3bn committed by Government to helping business open and prosper

The comments come after the government announced yesterday that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be phased out.

The Taoiseach said the national recovery plan was a good plan to get the country back on its feet.

Micheál Martin told Fianna Fáil colleagues that the reopening phase is “going at pace” and said ICU and hospitalisations are being kept down.

He said the next big focus is the Housing for All plan due out in July, adding that the government is also working on specific measures for taxis and the aviation sector.

The messaging around an ‘outdoor summer’ and the lack of adequate outdoor spaces, were also raised this evening. 

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Martin said councils should be providing facilities for the ‘outdoor summer’ citing that 18 streets in Cork have been pedestrianised. Councils should be pro-active, he said.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan’s tweet over the weekend hit out at scenes in the city centre over the weekend. He doubled down on his comments this evening despite criticisms levelled at him over the last number of days.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said yesterday that funding has been made available to local councils to create safe outdoor spaces for people, with the Taoiseach agreeing that the message is for people to socialise outdoors this week. 

The Tánaiste also hit out Sinn Fein during tonight’s meeting. Following a slideshow he presented on the recovery plan, Varadkar is understood to have presented three visual aids of the party showcasing different takes the party has had on mandatory hotel quarantine, as well as the pandemic supports.

He said Mary Lou McDonald last week called for the extension of the pandemic supports until at least the autumn, telling his party members that she is now moving the goalposts.

Yesterday in the Dáil, McDonald said people were facing a cliff-edge in their supports despite the government pushing out full payments until the autumn. 

Similar to comments made by the Taoiseach today in the Dáil, Varadkar also criticised Sinn Féin’s housing policies, claiming they voted down 1,200 new houses in the Fingal area.

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