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Junior Minister: We made a mess of communicating property tax exemptions

Seán Sherlock said that the government “needs to do right by the people” in communicating the exemptions from the property tax.

Seán Sherlock speaking to RTÉ today.
Seán Sherlock speaking to RTÉ today.
Image: Screengrab via RTÉ

JUNIOR MINISTER SEÁN Sherlock has admitted that the government has made “a mess” of handling communication of exemptions from the local property tax.

He was speaking to RTÉ’s The Week in Politics after the government disclosed that around 5,100 houses would be exempt from the charge in comparison to the over 43,000 which were not liable for the household charge last year.

Opposition TDs criticised the low number of exemptions but the decision was defended by Labour’s housing minister Jan O’Sullivan and communications minister Pat Rabbitte.

Sherlock said that communication of the exemptions had not been handled well and appeared to criticise environment minister Phil Hogan – the minister ultimately responsible for the policy – for not being “out and upfront about it”.

Sherlock said: “If we look at the exemptions I would contend that a mess has been made of how this has been communicated.

“I would openly acknowledge that and I think the government needs to do right by the people in terms of communicating how the exemptions will work.”

Read: Nearly 30 per cent do not intend to pay property tax – poll

Read: Property tax exemptions now available online

More Opposition TDs criticise ‘low’ number of local property tax exemptions

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Hugh O'Connell

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