Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed that the Chairperson of the Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily, will come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to discuss issues around the property tax.

Crowe said it was the first opportunity for elected representatives to get some clarity and answers, but he warned against the government using civil servants as scapegoats for the government’s own failures in implanting the tax they created.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The property tax is one of the most painful and unfair austerity measures that this government has introduced, and families all over the country are wondering how they will be able to afford it.

“We know that not a cent of the €250 million raised through the Local Property Tax so far has gone back into local authority areas

“The property tax is also now being used to facilitate the establishment of another new water tax on hard pressed families and individuals.

“Recently there has also been widespread confusion and concern in relation to letters sent to households about paying next year’s property tax. The current system doesn’t make any sense as some compliant taxpayers are being asked to fork out a year and a half payment, long before it is actually due to be paid.

“The system also penalises anyone who is not computer and email literate, those who haven’t got a bank account, and homeowners who haven’t got the financial resources to pay their home tax in a once off payment.

“I welcome the Finance Committee’s decision to discuss this regressive tax and hope that Revenue can shed some light on their payment proposals, but it is the government who should be in the dock and not the people who are tasked with carrying out their legislative follies.

“Sinn Féin has repeatedly stated that we are opposed to this tax on family homes, and if we are in government after the next election we will abolish the property tax.”