South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has sharply criticised the Revenue Commissioner’s for the way in which they handled the letters sent to thousands of pensioners last week.
“It is absolutely appalling that these letters were sent to pensioners without advance notice or explanation. These letters have caused huge anxiety for so many pensioners who fear that they may now be liable for a large tax bill.” Said McGrath
“The letters which many have found most confusing, do nothing to explain the actual position and advise the recipients to contact Revenue with queries, however, their help lines have been engaged almost constantly since Thursday. My Office has been inundated with calls from worried pensioners and widows who are looking to know what effect these changes will have on them.”
“The Revenue Commissioners should have anticipated that these letters would cause huge concern and should have issued information to the media to allay the fears of pensioners and to explain the situation prior to the issuing of these letters. Pensioners have now been left worried that they may be liable for a tax bill of thousands when in the majority of cases; this will not be the case. It is also shocking that letters have been sent to people who have no tax liability whatsoever. It is quite simply unacceptable that pensioners can be frightened in such a way at this time, when so many are already worrying about how they will heat their homes.”
“I look forward to hearing what the Revenue Commissioners have to say when they are brought before an Oireachtas Committee this week but in the meantime, I believe that every effort should be made to ensure that the help lines are answered so that their fears can be allayed.” Concluded McGrath.