The number of properties to rent in Ireland has hit rock bottom so the government is introducing measures to encourage landlords/investors. Why the opposite decision in the UK ?

Most of my school summer holidays and often my school Easter holidays were spent in the West of Ireland near Castlebar and Westport on a farm where my father was brought up. Most of his brothers and sisters had relocated to England in the 50’s leaving his brother Mick to look after the farm. One of his neighbours was Enda Kenny the current Taoiseac (Prime Minister) of Ireland. My Uncle was a supporter and fund raiser for him before he became the Taoiseac so Irish politics was always on the agenda and is a subject high on the agenda in the pubs.

I was in Dublin on the 8th October for a wedding and the 2 main topics they were discussing were Brexit which the southern Irish feel will hit them hard as they trade greatly with the UK and the Irish budget the following week.

One of the surprises of the Irish budget was the announcement that the Government is going to reverse a policy introduced in 2009 that prevented private landlords from claiming full tax relief on their mortgage interest. Currently Irish landlords are able to claim 75% tax relief. This will increase each year by 5% until they can claim 100%. This comes at a time when the number of properties available to rent is at an all time low and this change in policy should encourage more landlords/investors to provide more rental properties to fill this need.

The reversal of the 2009 policy comes as the British government is to introduce a similar rule next April reducing the amount of tax relief they can claim on their mortgages. This means that by 2020 landlords will not be able to deduct any mortgage interest from their rental income, but will instead receive a 20% tax credit.

An application for a Judicial Review to challenge the change failed in the High Court this month.