Wednesday 29 January 2020

TDs should publish all tax records, says Burton

Labour leader Joan Burton. Photo: Arthur Carron
Labour leader Joan Burton. Photo: Arthur Carron
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Labour Party leader Joan Burton has called for every TD and senator to publish their tax records in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal.

Ms Burton said she would have "no problem" releasing details of how much tax she pays after the off-shore tax avoidance schemes controversy.

The acting Tánaiste also called for new rules to make it compulsory for politicians to publish tax details.

"Proposals to publish summaries of Oireachtas members' income could be discussed in the context of the negotiations around political reform," Ms Burton's spokesman said.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams are preparing to publish their tax returns.

In Britain, political leaders published tax returns after Prime Minister David Cameron's father appeared in files leaked from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Mr Cameron released tax records showing he received £200,000 gift from his mother, which was perceived as a payment aimed at avoiding inheritance tax.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny is refusing to release his tax returns.

Mr Kenny's spokesman said he received no additional income apart from his Taoiseach's salary and does not have to file a tax return. He said Mr Kenny sent a tax clearance certificate to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo).

The Social Democrats, whose leaders Stephen Donnelly, Roisin Shortall and Catherine Murphy campaign for transparency in public office, are also refusing to give the public details of their tax records.

"Anything they make available to Sipo is for public consumption and they're all required to have tax clearance certificates so that should suffice," a spokeswoman said.

However, Sipo said it does not make politicians' tax clearance certificates public.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also refused.

Irish Independent

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