What’s the difference between Mick Wallace and Target express?

Perception is everything.  Be it in politics, everyday life, or even sitting at home on your own tweeting banalities and faux outrage at whatever Vincent Browne is screaming at his guests.

Yesterday we learned that the silver fox, Wexford TD Mick Wallace is off the hook over his €1.4 million tax dodge. Today we learned that Seamus McBrien, the owner of Target Express, had to cease trading because his company owed Revenue just over €300,000. He said that Revenue wanted him to pay a further €80,000 by Wednesday, but he told them that he would pay on the Friday. When the payment was not received on Wednesday, an attachment order was put on the company’s bank accounts. This meant he could not access money or pay wages.  So his company was forced to shut its doors, resulting in the loss of 390 jobs. The employees of Target Express have not been paid for two weeks.

Seamus McBrien further revealed that his firm has paid one million euro to the Revenue Commissioners in the past six weeks. He has said Revenue rejected a deal which would have seen the company pay off a further €175,000 from an overall outstanding liability of €300,000.  The Revenue has defended its actions against Target Express to RTE here.

Mick Wallace – TD for Wexford, former property developer and connoisseur of all things Italian – admitted to having knowingly made a false VAT declaration to Revenue, but says he did so in order to save the jobs of his employees.  Around the same time that Wallace defrauded the State, he gave himself and his son a collective pay rise of €300,000. Was he trying to save jobs, or his bank balance ?

Picture source Jim Sheridan

Wallace has said he will donate half his Dáil salary towards paying back Revenue. That would means being a backbench TD for 87 years or so in order to pay back the €2.1 million owed in taxes and penalties. It should be pointed out that Wallace had previously stated that the money would probably never be paid as the company was insolvent and he was not personally liable.  He only relented after the public outcry. He still owes millions to AIB, which you and I, as taxpayers, own.

The only admonishment Mick Wallace is likely to receive is a Dáil censure, which holds all the weight of your Mother telling you ‘don’t do it again’.  Wallace will still have a very comfortable lifestyle. How many business men around the country have actually gone to jail for less?  A lot I can assure you. Why is Mick getting off scott free ?

Target Express will shut its doors with the loss of 390 jobs.  Is there a long term benefit to the loss of these jobs? Did Revenue do a cost benefit analysis of the loss of income to the State through PAYE taxes and the addition of another 390 hard-pressed tax payers to the social welfare bill?

What kind of message does it send it when one of our legislators in the Dail a TD, can thumb is nose at the tax payer while the Revenue throw 390 souls to the wolves ?

We wonder why people hold politics in low esteem….. Perception is everything.

About Paul Duggan

Politics, humour, Liberal, Curmudgeon, Rogue. Creator and author of Irish Shades of Grey.
This entry was posted in Irish current affairs, Irish Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to What’s the difference between Mick Wallace and Target express?

  1. Pingback: Target Express goes under - 400 jobs lost - Page 20

  2. gavin black says:

    I whole heartly agree with the above statement, it is a disgrace that wallace gets away with owing such a huge amount and a man giving much needed employment should be punished, where is the justice and what can we the tax payer who pays for everything do to show our anger to this equally useless government much like the last lot

  3. John says:

    What an absolute disgrace. Here we have a company, struggling to comply – paying a million already to the revenue in an attempt to recoup – just being shut down, f*** you very much.

    The loss of over 300 jobs will hurt everyone, not just the employees. Why is that corrupt f***puddle being allowed to just spit on the law? He owns land around Europe, and seems pretty comfortable financially but oh, he’s offering half his PUBLIC FUNDED SALARY a year to pay back??? Are you fsking kidding me?

    This must change. Please join my petition to jail this criminal (URL linked)

  4. Aren’t you rather willing to take the version of events from the owner of Target Express at face value? Let’s face it the Revenue is in the business of getting its (our) money, whether in the medium, long or short term. If the Revenue thought that a deal involving staged payments was viable they would most likely have taken it, that they didn’t means there is probably a lot more owing that the owner has let on.

    • Paul Duggan says:

      Theres certainly more to target express than meets the eye Dan. My overall point was what kind of message does it send, when the perception is Mick Wallace gets off scott free by not paying his taxes but others not so.

    • John says:

      So, your position is that because Mick offered to pay over 80 years, that is acceptable? Do you have any idea how much unemployment payments will cost the revenue office for 390 people??

  5. I would agree that there be equal treatment but if Mick’s company is no longer trading then it can’t have the same measures applied to it as was the case with target.

    • John says:

      If the man was on skid row, no assets, no fraudulent activities, etc… sure, I can see how different measures would be valid. The man owns properties around europe, is certainly comfortable financially, and holds a seat in public office.

      What about the other private citizens who are being taken to jail for unpaid tax? They’re in far worse position that Wallace is, yet the revenue see it is just and fair, and moral to jail them?

  6. Fred Browne says:

    don’t be too quick to believe the revenue. target’s assets, worth c 4m, were sold to someone withina few days at a knock-down 900k. it’s state-backed asset stripping. target an easy “target” as they had the temerity to align themselves with Quinn

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