Local Authorities have transferred more than 1,500 affordable housing units for use as social housing in an attempt to address the excess of unsold properties following the downturn in the housing market. With the current climate the demand for affordable housing, a scheme that was designed to provide homes at a discount to the market price for people who could not afford to buy a home on the open market, has more or less collapsed.
Although the cost of living still remains high in Ireland it has been announced that the Rent Supplement is being reduced with maximum rent supplements limits being cut by up to 36% for tenants who are entering into new leases or renewing leases.
Minister for Social Protection Eamon Ó Cuiv said that the new reductions have been put in place to reflect the fall in current rental values and also to ensure that landlords are not charging artificially high rents. He also said that the new rates related to the next eighteen months and that they would be reviewed if rents increase during that period.
The new rates are now as follows:
A good news story for all householders around the country today on hearing that the proposed water charges to be introduced by the Government to all 1.1 million households in the State by 2012 maybe now in doubt!
Major doubt over the planned roll-out of water charges for domestic households came about when it was reported that local authorities are currently have difficulty in forcing businesses to pay their water charges, with councils reporting unpaid bills totaling €77m!
While we escaped the introduction of a property tax in the last budget it seems that we might not be so luck next time round. The previously much talked about property tax reared its ugly head again just before weekend when our Taoiseach Brian Cowen mentioned during an interview that the Tax is currently being considered for inclusion in the next Budget.
While most, if not all homeowners in the country are financially hard-pressed at the moment, Brian Cowen justified the tax by comparing it to the second home / holiday home tax that was introduced last year “It was a simple tax, it was complied with and it worked well. We have got to look at other areas such as that … not because you’re trying to just impose taxes for the sake of imposing taxes — we have got to keep expenditure down”. Not only that but he also said that he said,