Cyprus Mail

Parliament responds to minister’s criticism over IPT (updated)

Parliament urged the government on Friday to avoid statements that were not consistent with the facts, after Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos accused the legislature of dragging its feet over immovable property tax.

In a written statement, parliament said it would not just rubber stamp government bills but it was obliged to examine them within a reasonable period of time.

The reaction came after Hasikos suggested that parliament did not want properties in 2015 to be taxed using the updated evaluation carried out by the government.

Instead, property owners will, once again, pay their IPT on 1980’s values.

The minister said doing so would exclude thousands of properties included during the update.

“Parliament and certain other people do not care if hundreds of thousands (of properties) will remain untaxed,” Hasikos said. “They did not exist in 1980.”

Parliament said the three government bills were submitted on July 2, one week before its last session ahead of the summer break.

Apart from the updated values, the bills also provided for integrating municipal and state IPT.

Parliament said the minimum time necessary should be given to them to study such bills “which apart from having an institutional nature, they are also related to serious financial and other social aspects, which affect taxpayers in various ways.”

The timing of their submission did not afford parliament the minimum time necessary for discussion, the statement said.

Parliament urged the executive to avoid statements or references “which are not only inconsistent with the real facts, but also undermine the mutual respect and trust that must govern the relations between the two branches.”

Hasikos replied later on Friday, saying that the actions of both branches should be guided by public interest “the way each authority understands it of course.”

The minister said he did not want to comment on the statement issued by parliament, but reminded MPs that important bills pending in parliament must be passed with no further delay.

Hasikos wished the House President and the MPs a good summer holiday.




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