Friday 05 March 2021

Filibuster on home owners tax plan fails as MPs vote to halt the debate

Efforts by two opposition parties to talk out new legislation aimed at reintroducing a tax on home ownership flopped on Tuesday night, when MPs voted to halt the debate at around 4am.

In total, the PVV and 50Plus requested more than 36 hours of debating time about the move to scrap a law which was brought in in 2005. Named after MP Hans Hillen who introduced the plan, the law exempted home owners from paying a tax known as the eigenwoningforfait over the value of their property.

If they had succeeded in talking for so long, a strategy known as a filibuster, the vote on the bill would have been delayed and the measure could not have been introduced in 2019 as planned.

Now the debate will resume at 8pm on Wednesday evening and the vote is set to take place on Thursday. The measure also needs to be approved by the senate.


The eigenwoningforfait is currently paid by home owners with a mortgage and is based on the value of their property. It is seen as compensation for the tax break on mortgages which home buyers enjoy.

However, its original aim was to tax the supposed benefits which home owners gain from owning their own house and not having to pay rent.

The new government now plans to phase out the Hillen law over 30 years from 2019, reintroducing the tax on home ownership for everyone. The government says this will raise €1bn for the treasury over 30 years.

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