In June, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said it was “untenable” for so many to escape local property tax. By September, he deferred any decision on it again.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told officials in June that local property tax needed to be reformed and that it was “untenable” to allow so many houses, including those built since 2013, to continue avoiding having to pay.

However, three months later he announced another deferral on changes to the scheme despite vowing that he would “deal with [it]” if re-elected.

The original promise was contained in a submission signed off by Minister Donohoe in June before a new government had been formed.

The Fine Gael politician was told that reform of property tax would need to be prioritised if it was to be changed in this year’s budget.

In a personal note added to the submission, Mr Donohoe wrote: “It’s untenable to continue to allow a growing number of homes outside LPT [local property tax] base.

“One way or other, the Minister for Finance must legislate for this matter in 2020. May be no harm to get legislation done now for a later revaluation date. A government with a majority must deal with this matter, I hope that I can.”