No quizzing multinationals about tax

Oireachtas inquiry will not ask multinational representatives to come before inquiry

Fine Gael’s Dara Murphy: his amendment was passed that allows for the inquiry’s report to recommend that extra witnesses be called to facilitate further inquiry.

Fine Gael’s Dara Murphy: his amendment was passed that allows for the inquiry’s report to recommend that extra witnesses be called to facilitate further inquiry.

Thu, Jul 4, 2013, 01:00




An Oireachtas Committee has voted overwhelmingly against hearing evidence from multinationals as part of an inquiry into Ireland’s role in reducing their tax bills.

A motion from Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty that would allow for witnesses other than academics, the Minister for Finance, representatives of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Revenue Commissioners, and the Dept of Finance, was not passed.

Instead, an amendment from Fine Gael’s Dara Murphy was passed that allows for the inquiry’s report to recommend that extra witnesses be called to facilitate further inquiry.

A motion from Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance, that the inquiry call “representatives of multinational corporations based here in Ireland, including representatives of Apple, Google, Facebook and other such corporations”, was also overwhelmingly defeated.

The Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform has established a nine-member subcommittee on “global taxation architecture and Ireland”.


Private session
Last week it discussed in private session who it would call before it. Yesterday, Mr Doherty and Mr Boyd Barrett sought to amend the subcommittee’s terms of reference to allow for representatives of multinationals to be called.

Their efforts were resisted by the committee members from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Labour.

Deputy Doherty said it was akin to holding a banking inquiry but voting not to call any bankers. Deputy Boyd Barrett said the political establishment had mobilised to prevent multinationals being asked about their “aggressive tax-avoidance policies”.

Representatives of Google, Apple and Microsoft have been called before commitees recently in Washington and London to explain their Irish tax arrangements.