MEP candidate Mick Wallace says he has no money as he is only allowed €250 a week under his bankruptcy deal but will be “debt free” next year.
He believes Ireland should take in 20,000 refugees and says that Europe must stop bombing and selling arms to the Middle East if it wants to end the migration crisis.
The Wexford TD plans to run a campaign criticising the EU for allegedly favouring big business, and if he is elected an MEP he will fight for stronger scrutiny of laws and benefits for the less well off in Ireland.
The former construction firm owner was declared bankrupt in December 2016 due to €2m in unpaid loans.
Even though he was officially discharged from bankruptcy last year, he must continue paying off debt with his Dáil salary until February next year.
“I’m not out of bankruptcy, I’m still in it. It’s three years. They call it one but it is three. They take your money for three.
I get €250 a week to live on after paying a mortgage, some of a mortgage. I get €250 to live on, on my Dáil salary, for three years.
“It goes to the bankruptcy signee. I’m out of it end of February next year. I haven’t a fucking bean.”
He also says Cerberus, the vulture fund that bought the debts and applied to have him made bankrupt, was responsible for paying back a separate €1.4m in undeclared VAT.
“I own nothing. How could I own anything? Everything was taken off me. Cerberus own my company. So anything that goes on with that company is owned by them.
“The only financial debt I have at the moment is to the bankruptcy signee, that is my only obligation at the moment.”
He says he doesn’t think his financial difficulties will hang over his campaign.
Asked about the attraction of an MEP salary, he responded:
I couldn’t give a fiddlers about money. If I wanted to make money, I’d go back building. I lost more in a day in a building site than I can make in a year in the Dáil.
Mr Wallace says he plans to campaign against the militarisation of Europe And he believes less armies and bombs would help reduce the migration crisis which has stirred up tensions in the EU.
“One way to stop it is to stop selling arms and stop bombing their homes. The majority of refugees are coming from war-torn areas. There’s over 36m people have been displaced because of war. What happened to these people? Bombs fell out of the sky that were made in America or made in Germany and France.
“Economic migrants come from exploitation by the western world, by the developed world. We make economic migrants, the same as we make migrants from war.”
Mr Wallace also believes Ireland can take in larger numbers of refugees.
“We haven’t taken in 4,000 people in five years. Why haven’t we taken in 20,000? Because we could do it if we were in the mind to do it.”