That is up to you. Rover depends on government subsidies to stay afloat, and this has been a key issue in the last local elections. I understand Rover and other companies in Ireland can use tax havens to lower their tax contribution and to avoid a VAT charge.
But this is not a legal requirement. Tax havens have a very high level of transparency, and the level of transparency on the island is very good.
How could you have prevented the scandal and the controversy?
I am very sorry to say that I did not know about this, or I would have done something before it had got that far. If any company came to me with such information or a possible solution, I would listen.
But if this information was not made public, then I feel the fault should lie with the Prime Minister. In fact, I would say she is responsible for the decision to appoint the individuals who were involved in the tax evasion case. It should be known that people were given preferential treatment. Those people included those very people in whom she chose to put confidence.
What do you make of this latest scandal?
People are disappointed, but we need to put the past behind us and move on. If you look at the data, there is no reason why the number of vehicles should have increased after the 2009 budget. We’ve done a lot of research in this area and the number of vehicles has actually been falling from a high of 11.9 million in 1999 to 8.1 million last year. It’s been a downward trend.
Does the Department of Transport need to be looked into?
I think there is a need to look at this, but I am sure there may be some good arguments against doing it, as I would have considered doing in the last financial year.
We have to look at what we do as a country. We have to look at how we can ensure tax is not being evaded, and we have to look into what the implications are of any particular situation.
Do you remember the situation regarding the Dail car fleet, when the former finance minister Leo Varadkar was in charge?
Yes, the issue of the Dail car fleet was a big part of our recent election campaigns, but the last thing we did was to appoint people who were involved in the car-for-hire dispute. These people were not qualified to be in these positions in the first place.
The issue of parking had also been a huge issue
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