Magdalene compensation payments to be tax free
Measure had been recommended by Justice Quirke
The entrace to the former Magdalene laundry on Stanhope Street in Dublin’s north inner city. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
All lump sum payments to women who had been in the Magdalene laundries will be tax exempt, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan announced today.
“The Government has decided to give effect to one of the main recommendations of Mr Justice Quirke, in relation to his report on the individuals who worked in Magdalene Laundries,” he said in his Budget speech. “ To this effect, I am announcing that all lump sum payments to claimants will be tax exempt.”
Under the scheme prepared by Mr Justice John Quirke in his recent report and announced last June, women who had been in the laundries are to receive lump sum payments of between €11,500 and €100,000 for time spent in the institutions. Payment of the money is not dependent on proof of any hardship, injury or abuse.
A woman who spent three months or less in a Magdalene laundry will receive a lump sum of €11,500. For one year it will be €20,500 and for five years €68,500. The maximum payment is €100,000, for women who were in a laundry for 10 years or more.
Women who are entitled to more than €50,000 through the Quirke scheme will receive a €50,000 lump sum plus an annual payment calculated from the remaining sum, which would be paid weekly.
It was estimated by Department of Justice offficials that total costs of lump sum payments would be in the range of €34.5 million to €58 million with one-off payments totalling between €24 million to €40 million and total weekly payments amounting to between €70,000 to €1.26 million annually.
Last July the four religious congrehations whichn had run the laundries, the Mercy Sisters, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Sisters of Charity and the Good Shepherd Sisters, told the Government they would not be making any financial contribution towards funding the Quirke scheme.