From top: Larry Goodman at Dublin Castle for the Beef Tribunal in 1991; Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe
During a meeting of the Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach.
Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy asked Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe about a story which appeared in The Irish Times yesterday concerning the Goodman Group established by Larry Goodman,
Journalist Colm Keena reported that nine companies in the group made a profit of €170 million last year and had assets worth more than €3.45 billion – with the “bulk of the profits” booked in Luxembourg and “largely untaxed”.
Mr Goodman was at the centre of the Beef Tribunal in 1991, where it was eventually revealed that, under the then Fianna Fáil government between 1987 and 1989, his companies benefited from financial concessions, special arrangements and a change in the tax law to protect their income.
Mr Murphy and the minster had this exchange yesterday:
Paul Murphy: “In the papers today is the Goodman Group making a profit of €170million last year reportedly and paying, effectively, zero taxes through filing accounts in Luxembourg.
“The double taxation agreement that appears to still be operative with Luxembourg is from 1972 so it was written, it was agreed a couple of years after the one with the Netherlands. Is that an agreement you’re looking at revising or adjusting or think that, certainly from this vantage point, it would seem to be a problem if someone can make, or a corporation can make such amount of profits and be enabled effectively to pay zero tax on it.”
Paschal Donohoe: “So, as I said in relation to another question earlier on [from Labour TD Joan Burton], I’m not going to comment on the tax affairs of any particular company or individual.
“But in answer to your other question, in relation to our DTA [Double Taxation Agreement] between Ireland and Luxembourg, we will be updating that via use of the multi-lateral convention.”
Watch back in full here
Top pic: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews