A WEST Cork TD has expressed his shock at figures supplied to him by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, which reveal that the amount of tax owed to the Revenue Commissioners has doubled since 2007.
Clonakilty-based Fine Gael TD Jim Daly said that the figures represented a shocking increase in just four years, adding that they underline the hardship facing businesses nationwide.
“Small business owners are seriously suffering in the current economic climate. Entrepreneurs are the life-blood of our economy, whom we all depend upon to create new employment and therefore boost demand for other services.
“The Revenue Commissioner has confirmed that it expects businesses to continue to organise their financial affairs to ensure that tax is paid on time.
“I fully agree that we must have strict enforcement, particularly where people are refusing to pay,” said.
However, Deputy Daly pointed out that it was also necessary that Revenue take a “reasonable approach” when dealing with businesses which are genuinely trying to reduce their arrears.
“Where possible, businesses should be afforded a certain level of leniency. There is nothing to be gained by a businesses collapsing with the loss of jobs, monthly contributions to the Exchequer and no chance of recovering the outstanding liability,” he said.