Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 12:19 UK

Irish face prospect of new taxes

by Julie Kirby
BBC News Dublin reporter

The report recommends the introduction of water charges

Homeowners in the Irish Republic are facing the prospect of new property, water and carbon taxes.

A report by the Commission on Taxation contains more than 200 recommendations which the Irish government hope will help public finances.

There is currently a 20 billion euro hole in the Irish treasury's finances.

The key recommendations are the introduction of an annual property tax on all residential property and the phased introduction of water charges.

The report recommends the property tax be added as soon as possible, with water charges introduced over a five-year period.

Most social welfare payments, including child benefit, would be taxed and a new carbon tax would be levied.

The Commission on Taxation Chairman Frank Daly said the recommendations would not damage economic growth, but were designed to spread the burden of taxation more evenly.

However, many of the proposals will be viewed as hitting middle income families, many of whom are already struggling following the introduction of income levies, and other revenue raising measures, in last April's emergency budget.

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