Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty has described the Finance Minister’s decision to introduce a corporation tax surcharge over a levy on banks as a cop-out.
The Sinn Féin Senator said the surcharge would allow banks to continue to pay CEOs and board members exorbitant salaries before they ever had to pay the state a cent for the NAMA debts.
Senator Doherty said: “This tax surcharge is a cop-out. Before banks declare a profit, they have to meet their operating costs. Their operating costs could include a multi-million salary for their CEOs, board members and senior management; trips abroad, company Mercedes, so on and so on.
After all this has been catered for, only then will this government ask the banks to pay something towards the huge risk the taxpayer is taking on through NAMA. And we do not even know exactly how much this tax on profits will be.
“The taxpayer has just taken on a gigantic risk for the banks. We have hung a €54 billion noose around our necks. The banks now have an insurance policy that they should have to pay for. A levy should be placed on their total turnover that they are obliged to meet in the same way ordinary citizens are obliged to meet their mortgage and other debt repayments. If they have to sacrifice large salaries and working lunches in Michelin starred restaurants to do this, so be it.
“The cosy relationship that exists between the banking heads and the Department of Finance can no longer be allowed to pollute public finance policy making decisions in this state. The Minister must set down a levy and set it down immediately.”