Dáil Éireann - Volume 497 - 26 November, 1998

Written Answers - Tax Code.

109. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the formation in June 1998 of an association (details supplied) which has as one of its objectives the recapturing of the spaces of democracy lost to the financial sphere; and his views on the objectives of that organisation. [25196/98]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): While I was not aware of the existence of the association referred to in the details supplied, I am aware of the Tobin tax proposal. I had indicated in response to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 384 [884] and 385 on Wednesday, 30 September 1998 that gains in speculative transactions in the exchange market are already taxed in Ireland under the capital gains tax or income tax or corporation tax code, depending on whether the gain arises in the course of a financial trade or not, or whether it accrues to an individual or a company. Losses on speculative transactions are also of course treated as allowable deductions for tax purposes.

At the time of my earlier reply, I indicated that, while I was aware of the Tobin proposal regarding a tax on speculative transactions, I was not aware of any proposal to implement this measure on an international basis at this stage. Furthermore I said that in the light of EMU it may not be possible for Ireland to take action, in this way, on a unilateral basis.