AIB tax deal ‘symbolic of Leo’s Republic of Opportunism’ – McDonald

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD today called out the Taoiseach’s backing of his Government’s sweetheart deal with AIB that allows the bank forfeit corporation tax for twenty years foregoing much needed revenue for housing and health.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“The Taoiseach has said his primary aim in Budget 2018 was to balance the books. He has expressed this priority almost as a virtue, in response to my question about the need to provide real investment to slash the crippling cost of childcare in this state.

“Yet at yesterday’s Finance Committee, AIB told Deputy Pearse Doherty that they will not pay Corporation Tax for twenty years. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

“AIB made a pre-tax profit of €814 million for the first six months of this year. The tax on these profits is money that is badly needed to deal with the crises in our crumbling public services.

“AIB are enjoying this golden arrangement as a result of a legislative change introduced in 2014 under the previous Fine Gael/Labour Party government.

“After all the austerity, after all the brutal cuts and the hardship Fine Gael visited on ordinary people, those responsible are back in profit and they are being told that they are free from their obligations to this state.

“This is happening at a time when families are struggling to keep the wolf from the door. They are fighting to keep a rough over their heads and to pay the bills.

“What will the 8,000 people deprived of a place to live will think this morning, or the 494 patients who spent last night on a hospital trolleys?

“This cosy, tax-free deal for the banks amounts to another bailout and it is the suffering of these citizens that is paying for it. The Taoiseach is happy to forgo millions of euro that would address the crisis in housing and health.

“Like the Apple Tax debacle, the Taoiseach’s message is – ‘Keep the people’s money. We can tolerate citizens living in doorways and the sick going without treatment.’

“Leo Varadkar’s talk of a republic of opportunity has again been exposed as sham. What he really means is a republic of opportunism, where his government dances to the tune of opportunistic bankers.” CRIOCH