Corporate Tax Break For Banks 'Absurd'

Corporate tax break for banks in Ireland have been described as "absurd" and must come to an end, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said.

Deputy Doherty raised the issue with Minister Donohue in the Dáil yesterday before today's announcement (01 March) of AIB's profits.

Deputy Doherty has proposed a 25% cap on the losses that can be carried forward coupled with a ten year time limit.

He said: "AIB has today announced a profit of €1.25bn. The bank is more than capable of paying its tax and should be made do so. This tax break means workers and others are bearing the tax burden of the bank through taxes and worse services.

"The Minister for Finance tries to paint this as standard tax law. In fact, it is anything but standard. Fine Gael changed the law in 2014 so that the restriction would be lifted.

"The intention of the NAMA legislation was that this type of carrying forward of losses would be limited.

"Ireland is almost unique in having neither a time limit nor a cap on losses that can be carried forward to write off against profits. I would argue we are the country where such restrictions are most justified.

"Sinn Féin challenged the government on this issue when it first came to light and I will continue to call for banks to pay tax on their profits.

"Since last year we have had the government's report on the issue which showed that any potential reduction in the value of bank shares held by government would be dwarfed by the billions in tax that would be collected over the coming years.

"The bottom line is that three bailed out banks have now announced profit of €2.5bn between them but are exempt from Corporation Tax. That situation must end."

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