Tánaiste promises probe into vulture funds posing as charities

Frances Fitzgerald says if there's a tax loophole, it will be closed...

Frances Fitzgerald, Maurice McCabe, GSOC, allegations, malice, gardai

Frances Fitzgerald. Image: RollingNews.ie

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed that the Revenue Commissioners are examining whether vulture funds are using charity status to avoid paying tax in Ireland.

Social Democrats TD Stephen Donnelly had told the Dáil that the issue has the potential to be a loss to the taxpayer in the "tens of billions" of euro.

Fitzgerald promised that if there is a tax loophole then the Government will close it.

The Tánaiste told Donnelly:

"Clearly this issue does need examination by the charities regulator. And I have been in touch with the charities regulator and asked him to examine the particular issues which you have raised."

On Tuesday, Fitzgerald admitted she was  "deeply concerned" by recent revelations about Console and other charities.

The comments were made during a Dáil debate on a motion from the Social Democrats and the Green Party calling for better governance of agencies receiving state funding.

Responding to the motion, Francis Fitzgerald said: "The public must have confidence that the money they donate to charity will be managed and used correctly at all times."

Donnelly had remarked:

"What the regulator needs to be doing is saying 'why are private companies, set up to make a profit, being owned by charitable trusts?'"