Deputy Seamus Healy has called for the resignation of Deputy Mick Wallace following last week’s revelation that he had failed to declare €1.4 million owed in VAT.
Deputy Healy’s fellow South Tipp Independent Deputy Mattie McGrath, while stopping short of calling for Deputy Wallace’s resignation, said the money owed to Revenue should be deducted from his income as a member of the Dail.
Deputy Healy stated that Mick Wallace’s tax affairs were completely and absolutely wrong and unacceptable.
“PAYE workers are paying huge taxes and universal social charges directly from their wages; small businesses up and down the country are being put to the pin of their collar to pay their taxes and many have gone to the wall; while social welfare recipients who have been overpaid are being made pay back the money”, said Deputy Healy. He said Deputy Wallace had admitted underpaying VAT collected from home-buyers to the state and hadn’t responded to the many suggestions that he pay this tax from his personal assets and income.
“Deputy Wallace must pay back his tax liabilities from his assets and income, including his personal assets and income. We cannot have double standards. There must not be one law for TDs and another for ordinary citizens.
I believe Deputy Wallace’s position is incompatible with his continued membership of Dáil Éireann and that he should resign”, he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mattie McGrath welcomed the news that Deputy Wallace had agreed to step back from the Technical Group in the Dail and said he looked forward to his explanation regarding his tax affairs.
Deputy McGrath said while he and his fellow Deputies could call for Deputy Wallace’s resignation they had no power to do so. He suggested that legislation would be enacted to deal with similar situations if they arose again, so that motions of censure could be proposed.
“At the moment there are no guidelines”, he said.
He also believed that Revenue had a lot of questions to answer regarding its dealings with Deputy Wallace and he felt the Wexford Deputy should allow Revenue to disclose the terms of that deal.
He accused Deputy Wallace of damaging the body politic and of showing scant respect for the Technical Group.
“He should have stepped back from the Technical Group without ever being pressurised to do so”.