Business Irish

Sunday 19 November 2017

The thoughts of the IFSC czar

"A lot of the things in the IFSC are not things that the people working there find it easy to explain to their grandmother. That doesn't mean that it isn't very important work, work that is giving terrific employment and generating a lot of taxes.

"Over €1bn is contributed in income taxes and other taxes to the Irish exchequer by the 33,000 working in the IFSC -- in corporation tax again over €1bn is contributed annually by the profits of these various firms."

"The reason the response to the crisis has been so incoherent is that the European Commission and the European Council chairman, who represent all of Europe, have been bypassed by countries pursuing individual national interests looking for quid pro quos. That approach from 17 countries is bound to lead to a delay in coherence."

"If the European Commission was taking the lead and coming forward with a coherent European solution that would take everybody's interests into account, then we would have much more coherence and much more reasonable approaches, that could be sold to European citizens."

"I believe we need genuine European elections, for a European president. You could do them on the same day as European elections, parliamentary elections take place anyway, one more box, there's no difficulty.

"Getting people to feel that they've had enough say in the decision means that they'll accept it. The public haven't been given an opportunity to buy in, the whole thing has been kept within an ever diminishing circle of top leaders."

"If the Government makes decisions about public servants' pensions generally I have no issue with that.

"But I don't think that service as a politician is any less worthy than service in any other form of public service, particularly as people who are politicians have been directly and personally selected by the people in ways that other public servants have not."

His pension is €138,000 a year, based on 35-years service. It was reduced on January 1, along with all public service pensions over €12,000

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