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Sinn Féin

05/04/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/04/2021 06:08

Government locking first time buyers out of home ownership with low tax regime for investment funds – Pearse Doherty TD

4 May, 2021 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has criticised the Government for locking a generation of renters and first-time buyers out of home ownership by maintaining a low tax regime for investment funds.

This tax regime has allowed investment funds to buy up swathes of new residential housing developments.

Sinn Féin have repeatedly called for the tax breaks and exemptions gifted to these funds and their shareholders by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to be closed and ended.

This comes after an international investment fund, Round Hill Capital, pushed out first-time buyers by buying up more than three quarters of a new residential housing development in Maynooth, Kildare.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

'Reports in the Business Post that an international investment firm was buying up most of a new 170-home estate in Maynooth is yet more evidence that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have totally lost control of the private housing market.

'In the teeth of a housing crisis, first-time buyers and renters are being locked out of the market by international investment funds that are buying up swathes of new builds and pushing up house prices.

'This is not happening by accident.

'These international investment funds enjoy massive tax breaks and tax exemptions that give them a huge advantage over first time buyers.

'They pay no corporation tax, no capital gains tax and little stamp duty.

'This is a regime created by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

'Year after year, Sinn Féin have submitted amendments to the Finance Bill to close down these tax loopholes so that investment funds could not crowd workers and families out of the housing market.

'Last year I submitted amendments to the Finance Bill concerning a number of these loopholes, with each one voted against by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

'These parties have continually opposed efforts by Sinn Féin to close down the tax loopholes that they created.

'As a result, these investment funds are pushing first-time buyers out of the market, pushing up prices and rents, and then distributing dividends to their shareholders which are taxed at lower rates than most workers.

'The actions of the Government to favour these funds and work against the interests of first time buyers is deepening the housing crisis.

'Until there is a change of Government, this crisis will continue under Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.'