Tuesday 21 May 2019

Calls for clampdown on tax exiles are 'a waste of time'

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

LABOUR party proposals to clamp down on the country's 5,800 tax exiles are a "complete waste of time" that will produce little by way of revenue, tax experts claimed last night.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore yesterday said tax increases were now inevitable, but insisted they had to be matched with the closure of tax shelters and tax reliefs because "wealthy people with good accountants can get out of paying their tax liabilities".

Although stressing the need for job creation to be at the centre of a recovery package, the Labour leader failed to outline any new or concrete proposals on how to find upwards of €5bn in cutbacks. He did, however, reiterate calls to clamp down on tax exiles.

Barrister and tax expert Suzanne Kelly last night said clamping down on tax exiles was a "complete waste of time" and simply amounted to a "feel good, no cash tax" exercise.

She claimed Ireland has signed up to treaties around the world which allows individual countries to determine who the "taxing authority" is.

Ireland was now "locked" into this system, she said.

Three weeks out from the April mini-Budget, Mr Gilmore yesterday heaped criticism on the Taoiseach for failing to provide his party with adequate pre-Budget figures and information.

He claimed Labour was not prepared to become a "think tank" for the Government, adding that its invitation for pre-Budget proposals was "an attempt by them to provide political cover for themselves".

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