Fine Gael Enterprise Spokesman Leo Varadkar TD has called on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to rule out the introduction of a property tax, following the controversial proposal from the National Economic and Social Council (NESC).
“The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) is a Government body under the aegis of Brian Cowen’s Department. The Council consists of the great and the good from the Social Partnership system along with the Taoiseach’s right hand men and women. It is funded by the Department of the Taoiseach and is chaired by Dermot McCarthy, the Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach. The Deputy Chairperson, Mary Doyle is also a senior official in the Taoiseach’s Department. Other members include trade union bosses David Begg, Peter McLoone and Jack O’Connor, IBEC’s Turlough O’Sullivan, Fr Sean Healy, Sean Gorman (Secretary General of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment) and the Taoiseach’s special advisor, Peter Clinch.
“Fine Gael in Government abolished the Residential Property Tax and is not in favour of re-introducing it. A property tax would further depress the housing market and would plunge Ireland even deeper into recession.
“Brian Cowen should immediately rule out the introduction of a property tax and to make it clear to the country that he is dissociating himself from the NESC on this matter.”
The NESC was established in 1973. Its function is to analyse and report to the Taoiseach on strategic issues relating to the efficient development of the economy and the achievement of social justice and the development of a strategic framework for the conduct of relations and negotiation of agreements between the Government and the social partners.
It consists of a chairperson appointed by the Taoiseach, five representatives of the business sector, the congress of trades union, the agricultural sector, the community and voluntary sector and ten representatives appointed by the Government.