Budget 2023 introduced a €500 tax relief for renters for years 2022 and 2023. Standardised average rents in new tenancies in Q1 2022 were €1,460 per month nationally, and €2,015 in Dublin. A full-year tax relief of €500 equates to just 2.9% of the an average annual national rent (and just 2% of average rents in Dublin), while rents in new tenancies increased by 9.2% between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022. This is a token measure and will have little impact on renters struggling to make ends meet.
The fact that this credit is not available to renters in receipt of any other rental supports also leaves more than half of renters further behind, with the ESRI estimating that some 54% of renters (293,673 households) received supports for their housing costs in 2020. Recipients of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) can top up their payment provided the top up does not exceed 30% of their net income. A report by Social Justice Ireland indicated that households in receipt of rent subsidies are most likely to fall below the poverty line after rent payments are made, with a poverty rate of 59.1%, while a report by Threshold indicated that 45% of households making rent top ups were struggling to pay bills, buy groceries and cover childcare in 2019. Small measures have the largest impact on those on the lowest incomes. Not extending this modest relief to HAP tenants leaves them further behind.
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