Ó Domhnaill demand answers on targeting of pensioners for extra tax

Government knew in November, but failed to warn pensioners
Donegal Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has hit out at the Government for deliberately targeting pensioners for extra tax and failing to warn them about what was planned. When the Dáil and Seanad resume after the Christmas break tomorrow, Senator Ó Domhnaill will demand answers about who in Government knew about this intiative to target pensioners and why they decided not provide advanced warning and the make the proper information available to the 115,000 people affected.

Senator Ó Domhnaill said: “Since these letters landed on people’s doorsteps last week, I have been contacted by many pensioners and concerned family members across Co Donegal who are who deeply upset and confused about what this means for them. They have essentially been told with no warning that they may be tax defaulters, and they will now have to pay up.

“Fine Gael and Labour promised the Irish people that they would be upfront and honest with them at all times. In this case, the simple truth is that they knew back in November that 115,000 pensioners would be targeted in a tax compliant initiative but failed to inform the pensioners of what was in the pipeline.

“The Government has been hiding behind the Revenue Commissioners since this controversy erupted last week, but the truth is that Fine Gael and Labour factored an expected tax yield from this initiative into its Budget a month ago. The Government made a political choice not to reveal the details of the initiative at Budget time and instead allowed the Revenue Commissioners to scare the living daylights out of thousands of pensioners around the country last week.

“This situation has been handled in an appalling manner and pensioners deserve an explanation. The Government could have put the full information of the compliance initiative in the public domain as part of the Budget, to allay the concerns of pensioners all over the country. This would have allowed pensioners to be fully informed. Instead, they chose for pensioners to receive an alarming letter from the Revenue out of the blue, watch the reaction and then hide behind revenue officials.
!I will be raising the matter as soon as the Seanad resumes tomorrow (Wednesday) calling on the Government to explain why they kept quiet on this matter and seeking a commitment that each of those effected get the personal attention they need from Revenue to have their questions answered.”

Posted: Jan 10, 2012     |     Categories: Uncategorized