Carlow/Kilkenny TD John McGuinness is, like his 20 fellow Ministers of State, wondering if he’ll be retained in Brian Cowen’s junior cabinet.
He resigned as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment on Monday, which was requested by the Taoiseach that morning.
The resignations will come into effect from Tuesday, April 21st, with Mr Cowen to name a reduced, 15-strong junior line-up when the Dáil reconvenes the following day.
“My resignation, and that of my Ministerial colleagues, will allow the Taoiseach to have a free hand,” Deputy McGuinness told a special meeting of Kilkenny County Council on Monday.
The Government statement on the decision read: “Mindful of the pressures on public expenditure at this time, the Taoiseach will re-examine the roles and functions of Ministers of State so as to ensure the most effective implementation of Government policies across all Departments.
“In that context, Ministers of State agreed to submit their resignations to the Taoiseach, effective from the 21st of April next.
“The Taoiseach expressed the appreciation of the Government for the contribution all outgoing Ministers of State have made to the implementation of Government policy.”
Meanwhile, Deputy McGuinness was on hand last Friday to host the launch of a new website created by the Carlow-based Red Oak Tax Refunds, run by Waterford native John O’Connor.
The firm have launched www.redoaktaxrefunds.ie, a site which aims to explain to PAYE workers what they’re entitled to.
“With taxes set to increase, and the recession becoming a reality for families around the country, now is the time to get a grip on exactly what you are entitled to,” said Mr O’Connor.
“Nobody minds paying their fair share, but it doesn’t make sense not to avail of tax relief put in place to make it easier to afford such expenses.”
Red Oak recently entered into partnership with Waterford Credit Union to help its members claim tax refunds.
As well as tax information and refund claim services, the site’s ‘Budget Calculator’ has proved very popular, which will be updated following this week’s Budget.
“Most people are left confused and feeling uninformed by a Budget, but after using our calculator you will know where you stand – quids up or down” added Mr O’Connor.
Revenue figures indicate that the average payout from overpaid taxes is a substantial €667 per person with millions of euro unclaimed each year.
John O’Connor continued: “We have launched the website to make the process as easy as we can for people who don’t know the ins and outs of the tax system.
“We tailor our services to each client’s needs identifying, and completing refund claims for all of the possible tax refunds provided for by Ireland’s complex tax laws,..
“We’re excited by the possibilities of the business and the creation of employment opportunities. We’re also glad to be making it easy for working families to make ends meet by helping them access funds they are simply forgetting about.”
And while PAYE workers will be counting the hit the Budget will bring, John McGuinness faces an anxious month during which his immediate political future shall be determined.