More on Ahern, the book, and the tax exemption

At the bottom of page 9 in today’s Irish Times, in the “In Short” block, there is a brief update on the story around Bertie Ahern’s book and the tax exemption he has claimed on the earnings stemming from its publication.

FORMER TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern has not yet decided if he will avail of tax-free status under the artists’ exemption scheme on earnings from his autobiography, his spokeswoman has indicated.

His decision will be taken at the end of the tax year and will be based on the profits, “if any”, of Bertie Ahern: The Autobiography.

Taking the decision on how much money will or will not be made is bizarre. The issue is not how much tax Ahern would save personally, but that he is attempting to keep the monies from the State at all. It is in no way different if the amounts not entering the exchequer coffers total €1 or €100,000. This attempt to appear to be considering whether he or the State needs the money more – as if it’s right that it is his choice to make – is idiotic.

The very fact he claims he is mulling it over is a kick in the teeth to other taxpayers. Whether he makes a profit or loss on the book is beside the point. It’s an issue of right or wrong; does Mr Ahern believe he should claim the tax exemption or does he not? The amounts involved are wholly irrelevant.

Update: Ken Foxe of The Sunday Tribune writes about the same subject, in a wider context, on his blog.

3 thoughts on “More on Ahern, the book, and the tax exemption”

  1. I’m not sure if there is a metaphor left, which could accurately describe the abhorrence that the majority of people in the country have, for all the architects and facilitators of the bankrupt state in which we as a nation now are. For a large number amoung us the future is frightening, and that is right across the spectrum, whether employed, unemployed, ill, or elderly.

    But the most frightening thing is that with all that has happened in the last 12 months, and lets face it there was pleanty of questionable behaviour brought out in the open, the one thing that frightens me most is that during all that time, the combined opposition have not been able to capitalize on it enough to bring this current ship of fools down. Lets face it the combined opposition could not convince 3 independent T.D.s to vote with them on any motion or amendment.

    The opposition made a major miscalculation, in deciding to wait and let the government punch themserlves out over the budget, in the false hope of a FF backbench revolt, thereby bringing the government down.

    It was an amature miscalculation from an inept opposition, which is why Ahern and cronies can continue to carry on treating the people with contempt

  2. Anything that man gets up to now does not surprise me following over two decades of corruption, lies and jobs for the boys. I was at an event tonight where Ryan Tubridy said that there was too much negativity in Ireland and not enough positive thinking, how could any of us, and by that I mean unemployed young people like me, possible remain positive listening to the same corrupt practice day after day, month after month, year after year while vulnerable people suffer. AK you’re right, the opposition are spineless too.

  3. The legislation was explained on radio that unfortunately as Bertie’s book is on his political life it is automatically of cultural importance and therefore must be tax free.
    Shane Ross should have used this argument in his appeal.

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