Cyprus Mail

AKEL to propose exemption of first residence from IPT

Main opposition AKEL said on Friday it will resubmit an amendment to the immovable property tax that will exempt the first residence, as a spat with the government continued unabated.

AKEL also accused the government of “lying shamelessly” when it claimed that this specific form of taxation had been included in the memorandum of understanding agreed between the previous administration (AKEL) and international lenders.

Party spokesman Giorgos Loukaides said the previous government had twice submitted IPT bills exempting first residences — up to €40,000 in value with 1980s prices — and a total of 78 per cent of property owners from paying tax.

The current IPT excludes properties up to €5,000 in value.

“We understand the coalition government’s great difficulty to defend the philosophy of the socially unfair and crushing taxation they imposed on vulnerable groups of the population and the lower middle class in an effort to reduce the tax paid by big landowners whose interests they serve,” Loukaides said.

What AKEL did not understand, Loukaides added, was the administration’s tactic of denying its responsibilities over decisions that were exclusively theirs.

Ruling DISY was quick to respond, asking AKEL to admit that its government had opted to adopt the IPT in a bid to raise €69 million instead of cutting state spending.

DISY MP Prodromos Prodromou said international lenders had asked Cyprus to raise €20 million from IPT and at the same time cut certain expenses – the AKEL government preferred the additional IPT.

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