Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, today met Christian Aid on their bus tour for greater tax justice in the developing world. Christian Aid had a double decker bus on Merrion Street, which was supplied with vast amounts of information on tax dodging by big Multi-National Companies (MNCs) in the developing world, and how much revenue was being denied to developing countries.
After meeting Christian Aid officials Deputy Crowe said:
“I want to thank Christian Aid for welcoming me aboard their bus this morning, and for providing me with further information of tax injustice in the developing world. I wish them all the best on the rest of their journey around the country bringing attention to this very important issue.
“Christian Aid estimates that the developing world is missing out on €160 billion a year as a result of ineffective tax systems and tax dodging by big MNCs. This is far in access of the annual global aid budget and is quite frankly criminal.
“While aid plays an important role in ensuring that the world’s poorest people are protected from major threats to their well-being, it is a contradiction to support increased development assistance if you turn a blind to tax dodging by MNCs and others, as it massively reduces the revenue collected by governments.
“Developing effective tax systems in developing countries has many benefits. Firstly, it provides much needed revenue which can be spent on public services, like schools, healthcare and infrastructure. Secondly, it reduces state dependency on overseas and allows governments to take ownership of their own development agenda.
“Lastly, it promotes good governance, active citizenship and mutual accountability between States and their citizens. This is very important in developing countries which were former colonies and who sometimes suffer a lack of legitimacy among their citizens.
“I commend Christian Aid for highlighting the issue of tax justice for developing countries, and I call on the government to ensure that Irish Aid work extensively on creating effective tax systems in the countries they work in, especially their nine partner countries. The government should also use its EU Presidency in 2013 to bring this issue to the forefront of international development talks.”