Technical group of Independent TDs link corporate tax avoidance to inequality

Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris claims Ireland’s corporation tax regime is transparent and robust

Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris: says the Government does not agree with the characterisation of the Irish corporation tax system.

Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris: says the Government does not agree with the characterisation of the Irish corporation tax system.

 

Ireland’s corporation tax regime is transparent and robust, Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris has insisted.

He told the Dáil the State believed a multilateral response was the right response to aggressive tax planning.

Mr Harris was responding to a private member’s motion from the Independent group of TDs calling for urgent moves to change Ireland’s corporate tax regime to ensure a significant increase in contributions by the corporate and financial sector.

The technical group of Independent TDs said in their motion there was a growing international consensus that aggressive tax avoidance and evasion by multinational corporations was a major contributory factor to the “staggering increase in global economic inequality”.

Mr Harris said while the Government agreed that many of the issues raised in the opposition amendment were important, “we do not agree with the characterisation of the Irish corporation tax system”.

He said the Government’s counter motion, which describes Ireland as a world leader in the area of tax transparency, also “gives due recognition to the important changes that have taken place in recent times and the further challenges which lie ahead”.

Inequality

On current trends, the richest one per cent in the world would own more than 50 per cent of the world’s wealth by next year. “Equally staggering is that since the financial crisis began, the number of billionaires worldwide has more than doubled,’’ she added.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the corporations had failed to pay a fair and reasonable amount of their profits back into society to fund infrastructure, services and the incomes of ordinary citizens.

This was happening at a time when there was a staggering growth in inequality and an increase in the gap between rich and poor, he said.