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Social Protection and Revenue made a dog’s dinner of pensioner’s tax liabilities – McDonald

11 January, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking during today’s Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD accused the Revenue and Department Social Protection senior management of gross mismanagement in their attempt to address the tax liabilities of 150,000 long term pensioners.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Senior management in the Department of Social Protection and the Revenue have made a dogs dinner of what was clearly a sensitive matter that would take time to resolve.

“Revenue Chairperson Josephine Feehily told the Committee this afternoon her organisation would have needed three months to complete the necessary work correctly following receipt from the Department of Social Protection of some 560,000 pensioners records. Yet the Department of Social Protection waited until the State’s financial year end to forward the requested information.

“The Revenue and the pensioners affected would all have been better served if the necessary time had been allowed to properly investigate each case and contact pensioners accordingly informing them from the outset of their full liability and what if any arrears need to be paid or overpayments refunded. Instead confusion and distress has reigned.

“Legislation enabling the sharing of information between Revenue and third parties such as the Department of Social Protection has been in place since 2005. It is deeply disappointing that we are no clearer as to why the Department of Social Protection waited six years to supply this information to the Revenue.” ENDS

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