Monday, June 20, 2005

Ireland considering end to writers' tax exemption

The Irish government is considering ending tax exempt status for writers and other artists, reports The Guardian.
The scheme was dreamt up 1969 - the year Beckett won the Nobel prize for literature. It was the brainchild of Charles Haughey, then finance minister, now better known as the disgraced taoiseach who once spent £6,000 of public funds on Parisian shirts and took up to £8.5m in payments from businessmen. Haughey wanted to be seen as a patron of the arts.

All income from a "creative" work such as a novel, play or song would be exempt from tax, he decided. He told the British bestseller writer Frederick Forsyth, who had moved to Ireland and availed himself of the scheme, that his plan was "not so much to bring you bastards in, but to stop the outflow of Irish talent".

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