ATM tax would stifle moves to e-payments

6 Sep 2010

A move to e-payments would save more than €1.6bn in transaction costs for Irish businesses and could cut down on crime. However, the notion of taxing ATM transactions goes against logic, warned Chambers Ireland.

Chambers Ireland has strongly criticised reports from the Government that ATM transactions should be taxed.

Such a proposal goes against all logic as a means of reducing cash in transit and supporting an e-payments-focused economy.

“Chambers Ireland has consistently called for Government leadership on the move to a cashless economy in successive pre-budget submissions,” said Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland chief executive.

“We have also played an active role in drafting the report of the National Payments Implementation Programme Advisory Group which last met in June 2009. Despite significant inputs by many stakeholders, this report has not yet been published and we have no indications on when its recommendations will be implemented.”

Talbot said that a move to e-payments would save more than €1.6bn in transaction costs while also providing significantly enhanced traceability on cash transactions

It is understood that 78pc of all transactions in the Irish economy are still by old fashioned cheque, making a mockery of talk about a so-called smart economy.

Tiger kidnappings

“This in turn would attack the black economy, aid the exchequer in raising taxes and support legitimate businesses currently losing out to cash-based cowboy operators. Such a move would also reduce the amount of cash in circulation around the country, which is enabling tiger kidnappings.”

“The draft NPIP report was completed in June 2009. Yet nothing has happened since then.

“The Department of Finance and the Government need to move now to catch up on this important agenda for Ireland rather than ‘flying kites’ about taxing ATM cards, which are a crucial element in delivering a smarter, more productive economy in Ireland,” Talbot warned.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years