Makhlouf warns government over debt forgiveness plan for companies

Central Bank governor says the state has to ‘make its own judgment’ on whether a debt forgiveness scheme for pandemic-afflicted firms is appropriate

Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf: ‘Those are resources which the state would use to fund hospitals and schools or other things. If it doesn’t have them, it’s going to have to borrow them.’ Picture: Domnick Walsh

The government must weigh up whether any state debt forgiveness plan for struggling businesses would be the best use of taxpayers’ money, Gabriel Makhlouf, the Central Bank governor, has said.

Businesses in the hospitality sector have been putting pressure on the government to announce some form of write-off on the €2.9 billion of tax debt that is currently held by the Revenue Commissioners, following the warehousing scheme put in place throughout the pandemic.

The tax ...