This paper is a chapter in the report Budget Perspectives 2014, published by the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin.
The taxation of housing and support for housing costs are important policy issues. They are also live issues in both the UK and Ireland, with significant and controversial reforms recently proposed, implemented or due to be implemented in both countries. This paper considers how housing should be taxed and how support for low-income families with their housing costs should be provided. It draws heavily on work done by the author and others for Tax by Design, the final report of the Mirrlees Review of taxation. Like the Mirrlees Review, it uses the UK as a case study to apply principles that are intended to be relevant to any developed economy in the 21st century.