With the full support of a packed meeting I organised in Mount Merrion Community Centre on August 25 2015, I actively campaigned in favour of my proposals for a reform of this punitive tax:
1) Increase the threshold from the current €225,000 to €500,000 which was the 2008 level;
2) Cut the tax from 33% to 20% – the 2008 rate;
3) Give a further 12 months to pay the tax instead of having to raise the money to pay the tax by October in the year of inheritance.
Over 1,000 people, mainly from south Dublin, signed a petition to the Minister for Finance in favour of my proposals and I presented the petition at the Department of Finance on September 30 2015. In his Budget statement in October, the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, did recognise that there was an issue with inheritance tax but his concession of an increase in the threshold from €225,000 to €280,000 can only be described as miserly and minimal.
Imagine that with this so called concession, the Department of Finance expect to collect even more next year from inheritance tax – a massive €375m, up €5m on the expected receipts this year. The underlying issue is that the inheritance tax is not a serious issue for residents in most of the country where house prices are still low.
House prices in South County Dublin now average at €520,000 compared with €225,000 in Cork city, €223,000 in Galway city and €144,000 in Limerick city (daft.ie Q3 report). No wonder the Inheritance tax is not an issue in these other cities but is a real live issue for families in South County Dublin!
I am determined to use every channel open to me to sustain the campaign for a more equitable and less punitive inheritance tax regime.