Government – DISY are taxing youth instead of the big landlords

Statement by AKEL Political Bureau member and Head of Economy Policy Haris Polycarpou

4 February 2022, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

On yet another crucial issue, the government is putting powerful economic interests over society. With its proposal to change the method of calculating the 5% VAT on primary homes, the government and the ruling DISY party are taxing young people instead of the big owners of luxury apartments.

AKEL’s philosophy is different. With our proposal – which has been before Parliament since 2019 – we propose two main changes. First, a ceiling on beneficiaries should be set based on the value per square metre of a home, in order to put a barrier on the subsidy of luxury housing. Second, the measure to provide cover should be expanded to those who cannot afford to buy a new home today and wish to extend an existing home.

Beyond the philosophy, however, the government must provide an answer regarding its handling of the issue. The government ruling forces tried to mislead the European Commission by hiding the changes that have been made to the legislation. They subsequently lied about having secured the agreement of the European Union, but never responded to the Auditor General’s complaints on the matter. The result was that Cyprus stood accused, with the European Union again threatening us with sanctions. This is yet more proof of their irresponsibility and amateurism.

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