not a member? click here to sign up
The man who would be king
*That* Hot Press interview with Brian Cowen from May 2007.
Jason O'Toole, 23 May 2007
We have to show, as far as I am concerned, a tax system that is credible – that seems to be fair to everybody. I didn’t get rid of the exemption – the modification I produced, and the motivation behind it, was the right one. And I don’t think, in any way, it should decrease the level of artistic endeavour in the country. There is a certain level beyond which one should – despite one’s artistic contribution – make a financial contribution.
But the likes of U2 simply set up a company for tax purposes in Holland.
This is a response that people – the tax planners – can come to. In fairness, I met Bono at the Irish-England game in Croke Park, the rugby match. He brought it up; it was a private discussion on a social occasion, but I got the impression that he recognised what I was trying to do – and I have no adverse comment to make on their decision either. Hopefully, maybe the situation might change in the future in terms of where they locate some of their business.
Why is the promised target of 0.7% of GNP of development aid not being met?
We have said we’ll make it by 2012. I have put into my economic plans the necessary monies to do it. Fine Gael/Labour people don’t have it by the way – they haven’t included it in their plans.
Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte have both stated in hotpress that they are adamant the 0.7% target will be implemented if they get into government.
Oh, yeah, but they haven’t provided for it – they haven’t found out where they are going to get the money. This is one of my problems. I have provided the money and set it out over the next (pauses)...We have already increased it significantly to something like €685million this year – I think it was €108million when we went into office. It will be to the tune of €1.4 billion, I would say, by 2012. We will be at 0.7%. We have put that into our plans. The others haven’t. If they are saying they are going to do it anyway, even if they haven’t provided for it in their budgets, could they kindly tell us then what falls out of the budget?