Do you remember the big news in March of this year? A food importer had imported garlic (which has a ridiculously high import tax) and declared it as apples. He did that for four years and the fraud allowed him to avoid EUR 1.4mio in VAT. Since 2007 he had paid back half of it, but his case was in front of a court now and he was put in prison for six (!!) years. Can’t see that making it easier for him to get pay the rest back. In my opinion this verdict is crazy. Sure he should be penalised for his fraud, but six years of prison sentence is just madness.

Fast forward to 08 June 2012. Just 3 months later. Same country. Similar fraud. The elected parliament member TD Mick Wallace was found to have avoided a significant amount of VAT. We don’t know how much, but we know that he agreed to a settlement with the Revenue Commission for a 2.1mio underpayment of VAT over a 2 year period. Wallace is unlike the garlic importer Begley not prepared to pay anything back because his company is insolvent. In an interview he even claimed that he did not break the law, but his company did. Dohhh! This man is a member of the Irish parliament and neither the left wing group he belongs to, nor the Taoiseach is demanding his resignation. They all say it was wrong, but blabber on about it being the decision of the people who elected him, if he should resign or not. Should Wallace not be thrown into prison too? Maybe for longer than 6 years? If 700k are equivalent to 3 years, then he should get 9 years? No, I don’t think that would be just, but many (including me) would find it just if he was kicked out of the Dail IMMEDIATELY!