The Minister needs to examine a number of issues before we dismiss the fact that we are pumping millions of euro into this company through rental income. The first aspect that concerns me is the sale of Green REIT itself, which is the landlord in this case. Under the Minister’s watch, Green REIT and its shareholders have enjoyed tens of millions of euro in tax being avoided through the sale of properties earlier this year under the capital gains tax, CGT, exemption. We now have Henderson Park, which will purchase the Green REIT shares. There is a loophole in the legislation which allows for it not to pay the 6% commercial stamp duty, which should be paid on commercial property and the sale of shares, but instead 1% on Green REIT shares will be paid in respect of this transaction.
This is despite the fact that Green REIT’s portfolio consists entirely of commercial property. Given that Green REIT was sold for €1.34 billion, this is a loss to the taxpayer, who has paid over €15 million in rent on these two properties. This comes to a loss of €67 million to the taxpayer because of this loophole. If the Minister will use public moneys to rent from Green REIT, will he at least ensure that the company pays its taxes? Will he give us a commitment that he will close down the capital gains tax exemption and fix the commercial property stamp duty loophole in the forthcoming finance Bill?