€1.6 billion profit, €325m dividends, €0 tax for AIB ‘completely unacceptable’ – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the financial results of AIB showing they made a profit of €1.6bn and paid dividends of €325m without any liability to Corporation Tax is a completely unacceptable situation. He has called for the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe to reverse the changes that Fine Gael and Labour made in 2014 which allow banks that were bailed out by the people carry forward 100% of losses.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Last week, we had Bank of Ireland announcing a billion euro in profit and dividends of €124m. This week, we have the spectacle of AIB telling us they have made a profit of €1.6bn and paid out a dividend of €325m. In both cases, these profits are tax free.
“When these banks were nationalised or part-nationalised, they originally could only carry forward 50% of losses against future profits. This was done so that they would start paying tax as soon as they became profitable. In 2014, Fine Gael and Labour reversed this decision and allowed for 100% of losses to be carried forward resulting in the State losing out in hundreds of millions of Corporation Tax this year and for twenty years to come.
“Following my amendment to the Finance Bill, the Minister for Finance has promised to produce a paper looking at this issue but there is no sign yet of anything like this paper. In the meantime, AIB and Bank of Ireland have begun to make huge profits that are not liable to corporation tax.
“These are profits being made on the backs on very high interest rates for SVR mortgage holders. The government must take action now and ensure that these banks are taxed fairly.”