Property Tax: We need to talk about sticks.

People often discuss economic incentives in terms of ‘sticks’ and ‘carrots’, it’s an adage that refers to getting a donkey to work, you use a carrot to entice it forward or a stick to give a more coercive physical encouragement.

When it comes to property tax the rules in Ireland are damn near shambolic. Our property tax rates are some of the lowest in Europe, for that reason under-occupancy reigns supreme and nobody has to pay the price for it other than those who are on the outside looking to get in (ie: mostly renters).

We have a tendency to under use property, this isn’t just well to do older people living in big houses on their own, it happens in low-income homes too, to an extent that you just don’t see in almost any other well run European country, in fact, elsewhere almost the opposite is true. (see the table below).

In fact, when it comes to people in the lowest quintile of income, we are exceptional because many of them own their own homes outright, this is …

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Ireland AM, discussion on council housing with Mark Cagney, Brid Smith (TD) and Karl Deeter

In this discussion the way that council houses are used was discussed, the piece is very topical because there are serious overcrowding issues in many council houses where you have five or more people crammed into a one bed home while other people in council owned houses occupy four bed houses on their own. Our view is that this is a national emergency and for that reason the people in these situations should swop with one another.

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Today FM: Has political correctness gone too far?

This was an interesting conversation that we took part in, it wasn’t about mortgages or property for a change! It was about whether political correctness has gone too far. Karl Deeter was asked to discuss this from the perspective that perhaps it has, as a believer in freedom of speech he argued that it has along with Larissa Nolan and saying that it hasn’t was done by Collete Browne of the Independent and Peter Kavanagh from the Green Party.

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RTE 1: Claire Byrne Live features Irish Mortgage Brokers, 17th September 2018

We took part in a panel discussion about the ‘take back the city’ campaign. While we are in favour of solutions to housing shortages, taxing dereliction and land, we are not in favour of taking people’s property. This has to be balanced against why property rights were established in this country and we also questioned why they went after private property rather than the abundant and abandoned state owned property which includes council owned homes that are not being used.

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Newstalk Lunchtime, Wealth per capita now higher than back in the boom, 11th September 2018

Newstalk’s ‘Lunchtime’ with Ciara Kelly did a piece on new wealth statistics issued by the Central Bank which featured Karl Deeter from Irish Mortgage Brokers. It looked at the average wealth per person in Ireland and the point was made that property was a very large component of it. Other things that affect wealth were also discussed as well as some of the problems around using ‘averages’ to describe anything.

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TodayFM Last Word features Irish Mortgage Brokers and Joan Burton to discuss bank taxation

We took part in a conversation with Matt Cooper on The Last Word about bank taxation with Joan Burton from the Labour Party. We tried to make the point that short term thinking about bank taxation is a mistake, that we are better off getting the maximum amount of money back to the state rather than losing bank value in order to score a short term political win.

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WLR FM speak to Irish Mortgage Brokers about funds buying mortgage loans.

We were happy to take part with Maria on WLR FM about the loans that were being sold by Ulsterbank. We wanted to make the point that restructured loans that were making their payments were not going to be transferred and that many of these loans were many years in arrears (on the residential loans it is often 7 years behind). This indicates the loans are not sustainable, and that concluding the loans is probably a better outcome for all parties than the continued situation where the banks and borrowers are both in total denial. After a decade of this crisis it has come to the point where people have to accept that some homes will be lost but that sometimes those homes are empty, other times the person will get debt writedowns and that’s a good outcome too.

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