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Changes to tax system for Share Fishermen don't go far enough

23 June, 2006

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane commenting on the scheme announced this week by Revenue and Customs to help Share Fishermen working out of Ardglass, Portavogie and Kilkeel when submitting their tax returns, has said that the scheme does not go far enough.

Ms Ruane said:

"Whilst I welcome any initiative that simplifies tax collection arrangements for Share Fishermen there are more important issues that need to be addressed.

"Not enough is being done to address fundamental issues that are impacting on people working in the industry. Fishing is a dangerous occupation and anyone who puts to sea need to have adequate tax incentives that ensure they are well trained and fully equipped to cope with the hazardous conditions that are often part and parcel of the job.

"The current Share Fishermen's Allowance needs to be reformed and more generous tax incentives should be made available to encourage people back into the industry.

"Presently, a tax allowance of £700 is available to Share Fishermen which is a farcical amount that makes a mockery of what is actually needed to properly equip people - it is an allowance that in no way reflects the harsh realities faced by most people who make a living from fishing.

"I would urge British Direct Rule Ministers to force the Inland Revenue to carryout the necessary reforms of the current system and provide much more generous allowances for Share Fishermen." ENDS

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