Fianna Fáil member of the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee Seán Fleming TD has said ‘the Revenue Commissioners must clarify what interaction it had with the Minister for Finance and his Department before they decided to issue inaccurate and false letters to thousands of pensioners who have no new tax liability across the country.’
Officials from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Social Protection have been called to appear before the committee following the controversy.
The Revenue letter specifically said to people that ‘additional tax will be deducted from your occupational pension or salary cheque. I wish to apologise for any difficulties this may cause you.’
Deputy Fleming commented, “Many people who got these letters have no tax liability whatsoever, not to mention “additional tax” liabilities.
“The Taoiseach and his Ministers have sought to deflect any responsibility for this fiasco and hide behind officials. However, when you consider the scale of the mail-out and the fact that the revenue being raised was counted in the December budget, this position is increasingly untenable.
“I will be asking the Revenue Commissioners to be clear with the committee on who knew what leading up to this initiative. I will also be asking Revenue to apologise for the inaccurate and false letters issued to thousands of pensioners who have no liability to tax and withdraw their heavy handed demand. They must confirm that the content of the letters issued to this category of people was inaccurate and false and apologise for the upset that was caused to older people, many of whom have told me that they could not sleep with the worry they had after receiving the letter.
“The Government and the Revenue Commissioners have had a very bad week, showing up a complete insensitivity to the reality of life for many of our most vulnerable people. By being open and honest with the Committee tomorrow and acknowledging and apologising for their mistakes, Revenue and the Government have an opportunity to begin to put things right and put people’s minds at ease.”