Taxing matters

Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore was interviewed by RTEs Aine Lawlor (1st item) on the serious questions surrounding Bertie Ahern’s tax affairs.

Here’s an extract:


“It is now in the public domain. I suppose the argument could be made that correspondence between him and his tax advisors and the Revenue Commissioners shouldn’t be in the public domain.”

Aine Lawlor:

“Well, it’s more than an argument, it’s a fact. An individual’s tax affairs are supposed to be private.”


“Absolutely, correspondence between an individual and the Revenue Commissioners should not be published, no doubt at all about that.”

The Minister for Education, Mary Hanifin, was equally adamant on the matter (RTE Six One News, 4th item).

“The Taoiseach’s tax affairs are a private matter between him and the Revenue Commissioners.”

An article on the controversy by Senan Molony of the Irish Independent began:

“FIANNA FAIL sources are apoplectic with fury at the disclosure of his private correspondence with the Revenue Commissioners.”

I genuinely believe that I’m missing something here. All these people are speaking as if Bertie Ahern was an ordinary private citizen who was the victim of a malicious leak about his private tax affairs.

They seem to be totally unaware that he is the most powerful politician in the country; that he has failed to answer very serious questions about his acceptance of large sums of money from questionable sources and that he has, by his own admission, yet to fully deal with the matter from a taxation point of view.