Donohoe was told to say that trend of landlords sitting on empty units would ‘correct itself’

Opposition TD claims government is bowing to vested interests in defending the practice instead of countering it through punitive taxes

Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Finance, has repeatedly rebuffed calls for the tax because his department believes a levy would have a minimal effect on housing supply. Picture: Getty

Large landlords were intentionally leaving properties vacant during the pandemic because the rental market was “significantly disrupted” and they were waiting for it “to correct itself”, property industry figures told the Department of Finance.

During the pandemic, there was an influx of new rental homes on the market in Dublin and rents declined. The trend prompted some large landlords to withhold their properties from the market.

Opposition politicians have urged the government to introduce a ...