The informant looking to sell data proving hundreds of instances of tax evasion at the hands of Icelanders has asked for 150 million ISK or 1.1 million USD, reports RÚV.
As reported, since receiving the offer a few months ago, the Directorate of Tax Investigations in Iceland has struggled to obtain political and financial backing from the government.
“This certainly won’t be dumped on the Ministry of Finance,” said Bjarni earlier this week. “We received notice from the Head of the Directorate of Tax Investigations that this information was being offered and said that we would support them in getting it. But the Head of The Directorate of Tax Investigations must rise to her responsibilities by performing tax investigations and must collect the data and information needed to do so. Because the Ministry of Finance will not be taking on that responsibility.”
Following this statement from the Finance Minister, several other leading politicians criticised Bjarni for being too harsh and some even went as far as implying that he was purposely stalling the purchasing process to shield familial relations.
A few months ago the Finance Minister came under fire after his family was granted early access to an unadvertised share sale that allowed them to purchase a stake in public assets via a holding company registered in Luxembourg.
The Finance Minister however, insists that he is not stalling nor protecting any relations, calling the accusations “outright nonsense.”
“The current ruling coalition has no intention of going soft on those who shirk their social responsibility by dodging taxes,” said Bjarni.
Meanwhile, members of the Icelandic parliament seem keen to buy the data – pointing to other European nations such as Germany who have had success using this kind of information to prosecute tax dodgers.
Members of the Left-Greens have announced plans to bring the issue of securing the funds to pay for the tax dodger data up in parliament.