Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Jack Chambers
12 January 2016
Fianna Fáil’s candidate in Dublin West, Cllr Jack Chambers, has urged Finance Minister Michael Noonan to clarify Uber’s tax status in Ireland and to confirm without ambiguity that ridesharing is illegal in Ireland.
“In questions from journalists in Limerick yesterday, Minister Noonan abdicated his responsibility as Finance Minister to set out clearly Uber’s tax status in Ireland. Uber, registered in the Netherlands, avoids paying VAT on driver commissions here. In a complicated tax arrangement, Uber’s profits get counted as royalty payments between Uber subsidiaries. Under Dutch law, these are not taxable. Yet, Minister Noonan fudged his answer to the question and tried to redirect the conversation onto corporation tax. He might ask Uber to clarify if it has ever paid corporation tax in Ireland.”
“Similarly, in relation to ridesharing – a practice, popularised by Uber, which allows motorists to offer paid-for lifts to the public – Minister Noonan failed to be clear on the legal position. Ridesharing is illegal in Ireland. Yet, Minister Noonan believes it is ‘premature’ to have the conversation on the matter. He is being less than frank with voters and the public.
“Minister Noonan may see esoteric electoral value in his comments in Limerick. But, as a member of the Cabinet, I would expect him to demonstrate national leadership on these important ethical and financial matters, and to be upfront and clear with the public. Labour should play this role in Government but Minister Jan O’Sullivan has flunked this on the matter of Uber and its policies by attending yesterday,” added Cllr Chambers.