€1bn budget spend but ‘no giveaway’

The Government will have an additional €1bn to spend on improving services or reducing taxes in the budget, but it will not be a “giveaway”, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has said.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Varadkar said ministers in the Government must not use the coming months to engage in negotiating their budget demands over the airwaves, and called on his colleagues to desist from making such comments.

“One of the most important things, is that none of us falls into the trap of negotiating budgets over the airwaves. We have to guard against that,” he said.

“A big part of the job for Government will be to contain expectations. It is not going to be a giveaway budget, it will be a prudent budget. We must not engage in too much public posturing,” he said on RTÉ News.

Mr Varadkar also said that the Government is “very concerned” at suggestions that vulture funds may be using tax avoidance methods in this country.

He was speaking as it emerged that officials from the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners are investigating whether so-called vulture funds are using a clause in Irish law to pay small amounts of tax here.

Mr Varadkar said that Ireland needs to make sure that the country’s tax base is not eroded and that no reputational damage is done to the country.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the alleged tax avoidance was “outrageous”. It emerged that companies making tens of millions from property here are paying as little as €250 to Revenue.


Every parent eventually reaches that weird milestone where their children discover that their mother or father had a life before kids. For Cork musician John “Haggis” Hegarty it came this April, when his 17-year-old son walked in clutching a copy of the Irish Examiner.Emperor of Ice Cream: Cork band reunite for another scoop

Louis Theroux, best known for his TV documentaries, is, like the rest of us, being forced to improvise and so has started a podcast, Grounded with Louis Theroux.Podcast Corner: Louis Theroux and Ross Kemp zoom into action

Gavin James is preparing for what is probably the strangest challenge of his live-gigging career to date: performing to a sea of cars at his upcoming Live at the Drive In gigs.Gavin James: All revved up for drive-in gigs

The Government last week reminded anyone receiving the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP), put in place as an emergency response to layoffs made in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, that they could be liable for a tax bill at the end of the year.Making Cents: Working out if you will face a tax bill because of Covid-19 supports

More From The Irish Examiner