Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has said that the announcement of the closure of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) does not diminish the requirement for a full review and examination of the scheme.
Deputy Carthy last week secured the agreement of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to examine the operation and outworkings of the programme.
The IIP, commonly referred to as the ‘golden visa scheme’, provides residency to non-EU citizens in exchange for investing €1 million in an Irish business or €500,000 in a charitable or philanthropic endeavour.
Teachta Carthy said:
“Last week, I raised concerns in the Dáil regarding the operation of the Immigrant Investor Programme; specifically in terms of how it has impacted on the Nuremore Hotel and Country Club in my constituency. The Public Accounts Committee later agreed to my proposal to examine the oversight arrangements by the Department of Justice and relevant State agencies into investments made via the programme.
“The reported decision by Cabinet to close the programme does not diminish the need for a full review and examination of the Immigrant Investor programme. I will be urging that the PAC proceeds on that basis as a matter of urgency.
“This programme was controversial from the start. It provided for residency for those with substantial financial means that was denied to those who didn’t. It should have been subject to the highest possible standards in terms of oversight, accountability and transparency. Instead, there is little evidence of any oversight at all in terms of investments made.
“There is a need for the Department of Justice, other relevant Departments and State agencies, to be fully upfront with the Public Accounts Committee in our deliberations. The government need to commit to full disclosure of every facet of this programme.”