Dáil Éireann - Volume 430 - 11 May, 1993

Written Answers. - Effects of Stamp Duties.

18. Mrs. Doyle asked the Minister for Finance if he has made any estimate of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on potential labour mobility in Ireland.

31. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Finance if he has made any estimate of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on potential labour mobility in Ireland.

45. Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for Finance if he has made any estimate of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on potential labour mobility in Ireland.

51. Mr. Noonan (Limerick East) asked the Minister for Finance if he has made any estimate of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on potential labour mobility in Ireland.

61. Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Finance if he has made any estimate of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on potential labour mobility in Ireland.

65. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if he has made any estimate of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on potential labour mobility in Ireland.

[1070] 120. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance if he has made any estimate of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on potential labour mobility in Ireland.

Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): I propose to take Questions Nos. 18, 31, 45, 51, 61, 65 and 120 together.

It has not proven necessary to conduct a study of the effect of stamp duties and other costs of buying and selling houses on labour mobility in Ireland. Costs of moving home can, of course, be relevant to a person's decision about taking up employment in another location, whether that person is currently employed or unemployed. As the question recognises, there are several elements to that cost, apart from stamp duty. Stamp duty does not, of course, arise where the person is not a home-owner, and the exemption for new grant-size houses could substantially reduce this element of the cost of the new abode.

Given the many situations where persons may move home for reasons associated with their employment, any relief of stamp duty would inevitably involve a significant cost. I am not persuaded that this budgetary cost would be warranted purely in terms of facilitating geographical mobility. Availability of personnel is not among the more serious problems facing prospective employers in Ireland. I would point out that the World Competitiveness Report 1992 gave Ireland the best ranking out of the thirty-seven countries surveyed under the heading “Ease of getting skilled labour”.

It should be borne in mind, in any case, that reliefs in this area would necessarily involve higher taxes otherwise, which could well have a net adverse effect on employment, or deprive the Exchequer of resources that could be used more effectively to promote additional employment.