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Tuesday, 27th February 2024
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Finance Bill sparks Back  
It’s not all dry, technical stuff at the Committee State of the Finance Bill. Here are some extracts from the cut and thrust of political exchanges.
Lawyers make me laugh
Mr. McCreevy: The only people who make money out of this are solicitors who spend a good deal of time making up schemes involving domicile, residence and so on. They are the only people who will get a shilling apart from the tax on their exorbitant profits. I do not believe one word the Law Society says in this regard. I was pleased at a section of the Law Society’s letter - if I remember it correctly -given the hassle when Deputy Quinn introduced the whistleblower’s provision…

Mr. McDowell: Stumped up largely by the Minister’s former profession.

Mr. McCreevy: Yes, but not by me. The Law Society made the case about tax avoidance which made me laugh. It was planning all these schemes in any event. I also note that they did not write to me until 3 February. We did not hear from them in the two months before the publication of the Finance Act.

Karl or Groucho?

Mr McCreevy: A departmental official told me that my views were similar to those of Karl Marx with which Deputy McDowell will be familiar. Marx also believed that people should not be taxed on their direct spending but on their indirect spending. This was news to me as I did not know I was in the same camp as Marx.

Mr. Noonan: Is the Minister sure it was not Groucho Marx?

Mr. McCreevy: I felt uplifted to know I was in the same camp as Karl Marx.

Working on dumpers

Mr. Noonan: What gave rise to the decision to redefine dumpers so they are no longer considered to be motor vehicles?

Mr. McCreevy: I am told it is an anomaly…

Mr. Noonan: Which builder came up with that one?

Mr. McCreevy: It is an anomaly… I cannot recall any builders approaching me about this but I am sure they have written to us. We spotted the anomaly ourselves, apparently.

Mr. Noonan: This was all the work of the Minister and the Department of Finance.

Mr. McCreevy: It was, indeed, all my own work.

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