Fianna Fáil Public Expenditure Spokesman Sean Fleming TD has criticised the Labour Party for its attempts to scapegoat the Revenue Commissioners in the most recent Properly Tax debacle and has described Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s comments on the issue as ‘deeply dishonest’.

Deputy Fleming commented, “The letters arriving in homes around the country demanding payment of the property tax have caused a lot of unnecessary confusion and distress.  In the run-up to Christmas and at a time when many small business owners have just finalised their tax self assessments, the arrival of letters recommending that people pay their 2014 property tax bills this month is simply unacceptable.

“However, the Labour Party’s hysterical attempts to claim a role criticising the Revenue letters is deeply dishonest.  The Revenue’s decision to issue these letters is not based on a flawed communications plan or a poor customer service strategy.  The Revenue is issuing these letters because it was told to do so by the Labour Party, in the property tax legislation that Eamon Gilmore and his colleagues in Fine Gael forced through the Dáil without proper debate and without any Fianna Fáil amendments.

“Eamon Gilmore and his colleagues talking about ‘hauling in the Revenue Commissioners’ and demanding explanations is cynical in the extreme.  By forcing backbenchers to back legislation without debate and then screaming hysterically when a state agency then acts on that same legislation, the Labour Party only confirms its peripheral role in Government, its cynical approach to politics and its contempt for voters’ intelligence.”