Almost half of taxpayers in Ireland (47 per cent) believe housing should be the biggest issue on the Government’s Budget 2022 agenda, which is almost three times more than those who believe healthcare should take precedence.

This is one of the primary findings of the second instalment of the Taxback.com Pre-Budget Sentiment Survey, released today.

The survey asked over 2,200 taxpayers throughout the country, from Taxback.com’s customer database, their views on a variety of Budget-related issues head of the October 12th announcement.

The tax experts say they have put the same question to their customers since 2019, and housing has always come out on top as requiring the most urgent and immediate attention.

Respondents also gave their views on what they believe is the best solution to the challenges faced by first time buyers in getting on the property ladder in Ireland. Stricter rent controls to enable would-be buyers to save more emerged as the most impactful measure (33 per cent), and a loosening of the mortgage lending rules to allow them to borrow more followed in second place (21 per cent).

Marian Ryan, consumer tax manager with Taxback.com, said: “There’s absolutely no denying that housing is a perennial concern for people throughout this country. It’s something that affects us all in one way or another and it’s also an area that successive Governments seem to be unable to tackle successfully. The most recent reports suggest that prices have seen an average national increase of 9 per cent over the last 12 months.”

She added: “While there has been confirmation that the help-to-buy scheme will be extended to help first time buyers, it appears that what people really want is stricter rent controls. The last Consumer Price Index indicated that rents across the country have increased significantly in the 12 months, so it’s understandable that people believe these are really hindering people’s capacity to save for a mortgage deposit.”

Respondents said these were the biggest issues for the Budget 2022 agenda:

  • Housing: 49 per cent.
  • Healthcare: 19 per cent.
  • Cutting income tax: 12 per cent.
  • Reducing poverty levels: 7 per cent.
  • The environment: 4 per cent.
  • Support for small businesses: 4 per cent.
  • Increasing welfare payments: 3 per cent.
  • Increasing public sector pay: 2 per cent.