Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd has expressed his dismay at the actions of Ireland’s state-owned company Bord na Móna, after it paid the benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bill for its chief executive’s luxury electric BMW and health insurance. The payment amounted to a total cost of €64,000 in 2022. Mr O’Dowd described this as “unacceptable” and called for the CEO to pay his own BIK.
Mr O’Dowd highlighted the fact that the cost of the car and the covering of the BIK were both unacceptable. He argued that everyday individuals would be shocked to learn that a semi-state company like Bord Na Móna would cover a chief executive’s tax liability arising from a company-provided vehicle.
The details provided to Mr O’Dowd revealed that the car provided for Mr Donnellan, Bord Na Móna’s chief executive, was a luxury electric BMW iX Sport 5-door SUV valued at €127,000, with additional factory extras worth €14,000 included.
Mr O’Dowd expressed his belief that there should be a maximum ceiling of €60,000 set by the government for car purchases made by semi-state CEOs. If they desire a higher specification vehicle, they should bear the cost themselves. He criticized the exorbitant amount of money being spent on a car and stated that it was not good value for money.
Furthermore, Mr O’Dowd drew attention to the difficulties faced by ordinary individuals who drive company cars in paying their own BIK, particularly in light of recent budget changes. He emphasized the impact these additional costs have, such as increased mortgage payments and the responsibility of raising a young family.
Given that many individuals are struggling to meet their BIK obligations, Mr O’Dowd argued that this issue should be seen as a significant concern that needs to be addressed.
Sources: RTE News, Parliamentary questions to Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan