Brian Hayes to sit on EU offshore leaks committee
Fine Gael MEP ‘committed’ to investigating loopholes exposed by Panama Papers
Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes: “Companies and wealthy individuals should pay their fair share of tax. We have serious problems if firms like Mossack Fonseca are allowed to use special business structures to hide certain financial activity.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Brian Hayes, the Fine Gael MEP, is to be appointed to a new European Parliament committee set up to investigate the widespread offshore tax avoidance and offshore financial activity revealed by the Panama Papers leak.
Mr Hayes said agreement on the committee was reached this week at the European Parliament’s conference of presidents.
“This is a welcome development as these revelations need proper parliamentary scrutiny,” he said. “I am committed to investigating the full extent of these loopholes that companies both in Ireland and in Europe have exploited.”
He said the Panama revelations from millions of leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, “demonstrate an organised web of financial secrecy which should not be tolerated”.
“Companies and wealthy individuals should pay their fair share of tax. We have serious problems if firms like Mossack Fonseca are allowed to use special business structures to hide certain financial activity.”
He called on Mossack Fonseca to appear before the committee “to testify and be questioned by MEPs”.
“This sort of tax avoidance is a global issue and requires coordination between member states and other parts of the world.”