Monday 23 April 2018

Tax-cheat Wallace faces Dail censure

Mick Wallace,Indepedent deputy for Wexford at Leinster House yesterday. Pic Tom Burke 22/5/12
Mick Wallace,Indepedent deputy for Wexford at Leinster House yesterday. Pic Tom Burke 22/5/12

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

TAX-cheat Mick Wallace may face an official motion condemning him in the Dail after he failed to co-operate fully with a Dail watchdog looking into his €2.1m tax settlement.

The Dail committee of members' interests has decided it doesn't have the power to investigate Mr Wallace's tax affairs after the TD failed to provide it with the information it needed.

The Dail Committee of Members' Interests was unable to establish if the settlement crossed over into his time as a TD since he was elected in last year's general election.

But it said it was satisfied the original under-declaration of VAT happened before he became a TD.

Mr Wallace only answered two out of seven questions put to him, as he said legal advice from his solicitor prevented him from answering the rest.

The Wexford TD's solicitors said the committee was acting outside its role in asking the questions. The committee is now expected to refer the matter back to the Dail.

The Government has previously mooted tabling a motion of censure on Mr Wallace, but it is too early to say if this course of action will be followed.

The committee said it has no jurisdiction to investigate the tax compliance of the Independent TD or his company, M&J Wallace Ltd, as this is a matter for the Revenue Commissioners and, if appropriate, the DPP.

"Unless and until Deputy Wallace provides the information sought, together with supporting evidence from the Revenue Commissioners, the committee is of the opinion that it will be unable to determine its jurisdiction in the matter and in the circumstances is making this report to Dail Eireann," it said.

Jurisdiction

Committee chairman Thomas Pringle said it was in Mr Wallace's own interest to provide the information so the committee could state if it has or hasn't got jurisdiction

"I think in his own interest, if he can provide the information to the committee so that the committee could clearly state that we either have or haven't any jurisdiction, it would probably be better for himself," he said.

He said it was now a matter for the party whips to decide to table a motion of censure.

"They did decide not to move a motion of censure while the committee's deliberations were ongoing. Those deliberations have concluded now," he said.

Irish Independent

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