Ireland is a notorious tax haven for “corporate monsters”, the Dáil has heard.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett insisted the Taoiseach was engaged in a “big lie” after Enda Kenny dismissed US claims the State cuts special tax deals with multinational giants like Apple.
Mr Boyd Barrett warned Irish citizens got little back from companies engaged in tax avoidance.
“It is time for the Government to stop the big lie about corporate tax in this country and the claim that we are not a tax haven.
“The evidence is now mounting all around us that we are a tax haven, and that we are one of the worst culprits in facilitating multinational corporations and financial vultures to dodge their tax liabilities and obligations to contribute to the economies and societies which sustain them.
“These greedy companies want it all. They want all the profits and do not want to make any contribution to the societies or citizens which help them generate those profits.”
The People Before Profit TD said the country’s international image was now being damaged.
“The issue is being discussed in the United States Congress and in the British Parliament, yet the Taoiseach continues his denial. Everybody knows this country is a tax haven. When will the Government admit the truth that we are at the centre of a rotten financial and tax culture which is facilitating these corporate monsters in avoiding their tax responsibilities? We are getting next to nothing for our efforts.”
Socialist TD Joe Higgins said Mr Kenny was treating people like fools.
“It is time the Taoiseach stopped trying to fool the working-class people of this country, who are over the barrel with austerity taxes, on the issue of what corporations pay, both rates and amounts. Government policy is being exposed.
“How can the Taoiseach use the word “transparency” when these massive tax dodges by large multinational corporations are such that Dublin, Holland and Bermuda now constitute a taxation swindle triangle.”
Mr Kenny insisted Ireland was not a tax haven.
“Ireland does not do special tax rate deals with companies. We do not have any special extra low corporation tax rate for multinational companies. Reports of a lower effective tax rate appear to arrive at their figures by running together the profits earned by group companies in Ireland and other jurisdictions and incorrectly suggesting the Irish tax rate does or should apply to both.
“Our corporate tax rate is statute based… the headline rate of 12.5% is very close to the effective rate of 11.9%.
“We do not do special deals with individual companies. Our tax system is statutory based, and is very clear and transparent.
“We are not a tax haven. Some US statistics indicated that a number of years ago, and the matter has been dealt with. American investors quite understand that. The tax system is effective right across the board.”
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