Wallace criticised in Dáil over evasion
INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace was sharply criticised in the Dáil as a tax evader during a debate on pyrite-damaged homes.
Labour Dublin South West TD Eamonn Maloney hit out at the Wexford TD during the private member’s debate on the damage caused to homes built using material calling pyrite.
Mr Maloney accused Mr Wallace of tax evasion and said “tax-compliant members of the State require some explanation of this”, in reference to the settlement by Mr Wallace’s construction firm, MJ Wallace Ltd, with the Revenue Commissioners of €2.1 million for underpayment of VAT.
Mr Wallace expected the money would not be repaid to Revenue because the construction company was insolvent and he was not personally liable. He said he knowingly submitted a false declaration on his VAT but did so to save the firm.
Mr Maloney told the Dáil it was “one of the ironies of Irish politics that some of the people who have the gall and hard neck to sign a motion relating to the behaviour of developers are the same people who came here to bail out Anglo Irish Bank”. He said that “one of the signatories of today’s motion is a tax evader. I am referring to Deputy Mick Wallace.”
He added: “Everyone in the State should pay tax according to their income and wealth. This is one of the reasons I support a wealth tax. When I see motions such as the one being discussed, where there is no explanation from someone who engages in tax evasion, I am appalled.”
The private member’s motion called for a properly funded independent inspectorate to regulate building work. Mr Maloney said while there was much to commend in the motion dealing with pyrite, he objected to the calls for the State to step in.
“The State is, of course, you and me, the taxpayers and the hard-pressed PAYE sector outside these Houses. In every situation we hear a call for them to bail out these characters who engaged in all sorts of corruption. I do not mean every developer and builder, there are good builders and developers just as there are bad politicians and decent ones.”
He added: “We must stop the practice of expecting the PAYE sector to rush in and compensate people who did bad work and defrauded people. These people should not be bailed out by the PAYE sector. The State should take action and put them in jail rather than helping them out.”