White collar crime remains a grey area for this government

RENUA Ireland would like to congratulate the government on its recent discovery that Ireland has a problem with “White Collar” crime.

The interest of a Taoiseach and the Ministers for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Finance and the Minister for Justice and Equality, though long overdue is welcome.

The government’s belated recognition of the correctness of key RENUA Ireland policies is also welcome, although until we see some tangible legislative action we can only conclude that white collar crime remains a grey area for this government.

It is past time the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement was established as an independent law compliance and enforcement agency.

We also welcome the evaluation of the Protected Disclosures Act, to ensure that the legislation has been effective in line with its objectives; and to identify how it might be improved if necessary.

We are also delighted to refer them to RENUA Ireland’s policies on JUSTICE FOR ALL – AN END TO WHITE COLLAR CRIME.

These are designed to tackle the scenario where the Irish state has been blighted by a culture where the well-connected and the wealthy appear to be above the law.

RENUA Ireland supports a series of radical changes that will leave this culture of privilege and entitlement in the past.

These changes include: Criminal liability for reckless lending; specifically our banks; criminal sanctions (including custodial sentencing) for company directors who act recklessly or dishonestly; removing ignorance as a defence for company directors accused of malfeasance or wrongdoing; erasing the white collar culture of mitigation in sentencing where the accused falls back on an absence of prior convictions or a good character to avoid jail.

We note that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is frustrated at our inability as a country to secure more convictions when it comes to corruption and white-collar crime.

Our proposals, particularly in the arena of mitigation would create a cultural sea-change in this issue.

We are pleased to help should it be required.