Republican News · Thursday 16 March 2000

[An Phoblacht]

EU letter exposes McCreevy

The Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy has no credibility on the issue of credit union tax reform, following news that the EU Competition Commissioner has told him he can go ahead with reforms recommended by the credit union taxation Working Group and supported by the Credit Union Movement.

Following the revelation of the letter to the Finance Minister from EU Commissioner Mario Monti, Sinn Féin Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``The Minister for Finance has used the EU as an excuse for his failure to implement the recommendations of the Working Group and exclude from DIRT tax the first 375 of dividends to credit union savers. He has been told that there is nothing in EU law to stop him from going ahead with this reform.

``The minister now has no credibility on this issue. Last week he accused the Credit Union Movement of promoting tax evasion and he still refuses to meet their representatives. It was another indication of Minister McCreevy's hostile attitude to a movement that has been of incalculable benefit to hundreds of thousands of people throughout Ireland.

``The banks who regard small deposit-holders with contempt are treated with kid gloves by this government. Yet it is the banks who have tried to bring the weight of EU law against any favourable tax reform for the Credit Unions, which are voluntary non-profit organisations benefitting the small saver. Minister McCreevy should swallow his pride and introduce these reforms without delay.''

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