Monday 1 May 2017

Give multi-millionaire tax exiles a break

* Following deliberations by the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on Finance last week on the subject of philanthropy, Minister Michael Noonan has promptly declared a proposition to extend the right of multi-millionaire tax exiles to reside in Ireland for up to 244 days per year, without any further liability to Irish taxation, "attractive", if they were to buy this right in the form of philanthropic payments of €15m to unspecified charities over a period of 10 years.

It is odd that he should find this attractive at a time when the State is waging a relentless and intensive public relations war across the globe to persuade a sceptical public that Ireland is not a soft touch when it comes to tax avoidance following the Apple Corporation tax controversy in the United States.

The fact that the bosses of many charities in Ireland receive remuneration on a huge scale, and that the State does not even have a charity commissioner to oversee these unregulated regimes, hardly strengthens the proposition. Nor does it make it attractive in the eyes of ordinary, hard-working taxpayers struggling to make ends meet.

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