Irish charities institute to take on €1bn debt as it prepares to exit government

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The Irish charities institution (ICA) is to take legal action against the Government to try to leave the country.

The move comes amid a series of legal challenges to the Irish government over the financial arrangements that underpin the country’s welfare system.IAC, which has about 1,500 employees, has already taken legal action to try and avoid being forced to shut down, after failing to secure an extension of the period for public funds to be paid.

The IAC board met with the Taoiseach, Michael Higgins, on Monday evening.

It said it was “pleased” that Mr Higgins “accepted our arguments and is now committed to a negotiated solution”.

The ICA board also said that it “recognises the important role of charities in supporting the poorest in our society”.

“While our work is not done, we believe that we have the authority to do so by taking legal action and by negotiating a negotiated outcome.”

The IACC said it will “ensure the services of the Irish charity sector are always provided to the greatest number of people” as it seeks to negotiate an exit from the country in the event of a Government exit.

The Irish Government says it wants to “strengthen the welfare state and ensure that those who have made a significant contribution to Ireland through the charitable sector can benefit from it”.

The Government’s own figures show that of the €7.3bn in public spending the country receives annually, nearly €1.6bn goes towards charitable donations.

A spokesperson for Mr Higgins said the Government “is committed to the support of charities” and has a “zero tolerance” approach to illegal funding.

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