Finance Minister tells Donegal TDs that he can’t intervene in Highland Bakery dispute

The Minister for Finance has said the Independent status of Revenue means that he cannot get involved in the Highland Bakery tax dispute which is threatening the future of 42 jobs.

Donegal Deputies Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Pearse Doherty raised the issue in the Dail this afternoon.

It follows Monday's stand off between the Bakery's staff and bailiffs acting on behalf of revenue - staff barricaded themselves in to prevent the bailiffs from seizing equipment.

Deputy Pearse Doherty says this is not the only case in Donegal - he told the Dail of another company which may close with the loss of 14 jobs because Revenue will not negotiate a payment plan for tax liabilities:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/pearse1bakery.mp3[/podcast]

Responding, the Finance Minister Michael Noonan reaffirmed the importance of Revenue's independence - he said they normally only send in the bailiffs as a last resort.

However, Minister Noonan said the deputies were more than entitled to make representations to Revenue on behalf of their constituents:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/noon1bakery.mp3[/podcast]

Pearse Doherty then pointed out that businesses are experiencing new difficulties because of the current financial climate - he said perhaps the role of Revenue needs to be reviewed:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/pearse2bakery.mp3[/podcast]