Fine Gael calls for Revenue to pay interest on late payments

Ardfheis delegates back motion on refunds to small- and medium-sized enterprises

Delegates at the Fine Gael ardfheis in Citywest in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Delegates at the Fine Gael ardfheis in Citywest in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley


Fine Gael delegates at the party’s ardfheis at Citywest in Dublin have backed a call for the Revenue Commissioners to pay interest on the late payment of refunds to small- and medium-sized businesses.

The motion was introduced by former lord mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí, a candidate in the Dublin Bay North constituency.

He said businesses knew all about the letter they received from Revenue with interest charges when they were late filing their returns.

“Of course when the shoe is on the other foot it’s a different story. If the Revenue owe a business money . . . will they pay interest? Not on your life.

He suggested that Minister for Finance Michael Noonan look in to the issue.

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

“I believe in the interests of fairness the Revenue should pay interest on all debts it is late in paying.”

The motion states that because of the importance of cash flow to the viability of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), the Revenue Commissioners should “process tax refunds due to SMEs within 30 days and pay interest on all outstanding refunds due to SMEs within 30 days.

Economic success

At the ardfheis, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe also spoke about the State’s economic recovery.

“When is the last time any of you heard a discussion about a bond yield? When is the last time anybody heard a discussion in a pub about a promissory note?

“When is the last time you were out with your friends and somebody brought up the Troika in discussion?

“Let’s remember those early years when every morning we heard the dreadful monotony of bond yields going up day after day.

“They were also the days of the stories of airports being full with families leaving Ireland.

“Fine Gael was looking to the future and a ship of State that could weather economic storms to come.”

He highlighted recent economic successes, including CSO figures showing that in the first 11 months of last year “eight million people went in and out of our country”.

He said the Government had made decisions to get the tourist industry back on its feet, including the reduced VAT rate on hospitality and the elimination of the airport tax.