Windfall Gains Tax - belated but welcome

Posted on Tuesday, 8 September 2009

 The proposal to introduce a windfall gains tax of 80 per cent on profits gained from increases in land value due to rezoning decisions is most welcome and should be introduced by Government as soon as possible. Had such a tax been in place it would have prevented a great deal of the speculation that has led to Ireland's present economic state. Its introduction now is welcome as it would ensure that land speculation was not rewarded in the future.

The vast profits made by property speculators on the rezoning of land by local authorities raise very serious questions. Social Justice Ireland believes that a substantial tax should be imposed on the profits earned from such decisions. As rezonings are made by elected representatives in the interest of society generally, it seems appropriate that a sizeable proportion of the windfall gains they generate should be made available to local authorities and used to address the ongoing housing problems they face.
Introducing a windfall gains tax would also provide additional resources which would go some distance towards achieving the adjustment Government has proposed for the next Budget.
Social Justice Ireland will be providing a detailed set of proposals on taxation when it publishes its Pre-Budget Policy Briefing in a matter of weeks.