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Gilmore challenges Cowen to end Crony Capitalism

Posted on March 24, 2009 at 08:15 PM

Leaders' Questions today saw Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore challenge the Taoiseach to end crony capitalism.

Deputy Gilmore pressed the Taoiseach to explain how it would take one month to investigate bonuses paid to Mr Fingleton, the Irish Nationwide boss who received a €1m bonus after the State guarantee of Irish financial institutions.

Eamon told the House that the Minister has the power to require these bonuses to be repaid under the law and that it should not take a month to establish the facts.

Eamon asked: "What payment was made, when was it made, who authorised it, was there clearance sought by the Minister, the department, the financial regulator? This, Taoiseach, is required to be dealt with quickly."

"Taxpayers who are waiting the worst of news in Budget Day in less than a month will want to know whether or not the Government is going to recoup that and how it is that a bonus of that kind could be paid after the Guarantee scheme came into effect when we were told that the Government had given itself considerable powers to exercise control on these institutions.

He also challenged the Taoiseach to close off the sort of tax-exile loophole highlighted by the case of Mr Gerry McCaughey, a wealthy businessman, recently appointed by John Gormley as chairperson of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority who was able to avoid paying capital gains tax on a multi-million profit made from the sale of his company.

You can watch Eamon's contribution on the accompanying video and you can read the full transcript on the Oireachtas website.

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