Be part of building a new republic

Become a Sinn Féin Online Supporter

EU Election Manifesto 2014

Putting Ireland First - Éire Chun Cinn

Sinn Féin's bilingual election manifesto for the 2014 EU election was launched on Monday 12 May. Download Sinn Féin's EU Manifesto 2014 here.


EU Election News

Toggle

Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has said a new report published today by Oxfam includes irrefutable evidence that the Irish state is still being used for massive levels of tax avoidance by corporations, banks and wealthy individuals, despite the government claims to the contrary.

The report on the use of tax havens by European banks is based on 2015 figures that were only made available following the introduction of public country by country reporting for large banks last year.

Carthy, a member of the European Parliament's Panama Papers inquiry, said: 

"Yet again we have another report from a highly respected development agency that describes the Irish state as a tax haven - this time, for Europe's biggest banks.

"Incredibly, the figures show that five banks - RBS11, Societe Generale, UniCredit, Santander and BBVA - reported profits in Ireland of more than 100% of their turnover, something that can only be achieved through blatant profit-shifting.

"Combined, these big banks reported profits of €2.3bn in the Irish state on turnover of around €3bn, compared with Sweden which reported profits of €0.9bn on the same level of turnover. Oxfam's report further shows that the effective tax rate paid on these Irish profits by 16 of the top 20 banks was 6%, with three banks paying an effective tax rate of just 2%.

"This shows without a doubt the existence of tax laws and loopholes in the Irish state that continue to facilitate massive corporate tax avoidance. These must be addressed by ending mismatches and introducing strong controlled foreign company rules and stronger anti-abuse rules."

Carthy concluded:

"Most importantly these figures vividly illustrate the value of country by country reporting being made public instead of the figures only being provided to state tax authorities.

"The Irish Government should stop playing an obstructionist role on this matter in the EU Council, where it opposes public country by country reporting, and commit instead to maximum transparency."

Toggle

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on Ulster Bank to reverse its decision to close a range of branches across the state.

Carthy also called on government representatives to come out of hiding and begin to address the continuing attacks on the services provided to rural Ireland.

Matt Carthy said:

“The decision taken by Ulster Bank to shut another list of branches is deeply disappointing and must be challenged.

“These planned closures will mean that residents and business owners in those towns will no longer have access to banking services locally, or will at minimum experience severe disturbance, should these closures go ahead, and this will obviously have a devastating impact on our local economies.

“While this will be sold as a corporate decision which has been made by a private company, I would strongly urge Ulster Bank to reconsider its decision and to make every effort to keep these branches open for the good of the local communities involved. 

"Only three months ago Sinn Féin questioned Ulster Bank over what plans if any the company had to close further branches, and the bank gave no indication then that further closures were imminent.

“Ulster Bank needs immediately to sit down with the communities involved and discuss the fate of local branches in an effort to retain these vital services.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were satisfied to burden Irish families with €64billion of private debt in order to bail out the banks, the least they can do now is protect those communities who suffered as a result of that decision.

“For my part I am willing to work with everyone to keep these important services open, and to working with the communities involved to do so.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will host a task force of MEPs from across Europe in Ireland this week to see at first hand the impact of Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

"The British government's Brexit agenda will be disastrous for Ireland, north and south, and it will hit the border regions particularly hard. 

"This week I will be hosting a task force of MEPs from countries across Europe to see at first hand the impact of this reckless Brexit agenda. 

"We will be visiting Monaghan, Louth, Armagh to see how the imposition of a border, hard or soft, will impact on the lives of people living in these areas. 

"Myself and my fellow Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy will also be holding a public meeting in the Carrickdale Hotel, on the Armagh/Louth border on Thursday at 7.30pm to discuss the impact of Brexit. 

"The task force will then travel to Belfast on Friday. They will meet local community groups who have benefited from EU funding before going to Stormont to meet Sinn Féin MLAs to discuss how to build further support for our case for the north to have designated special status within the EU."

Toggle

Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan was part of a delegation which travelled to Egypt to present the prestigious ‘Right Livelihood Award’, widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize', to renowned Egyptian feminist and human rights activist Mozn Hassan and her organisation Nazra for Feminist Studies.

 Speaking after the ceremony in Cairo tonight, MEP Boylan said:

 "'The Right Livelihood Award’ was established in 1980 to honour and support courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems. In my mind there is no one more worthy of this award than Mozn Hassam.

“It is hard to articulate how great an honour it was to be part of the delegation to present the award to Mozn. The work that she and Nazra for Feminist Studies have done, and continue to do, in asserting the equality and rights of women in circumstances where they are subject to ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination is remarkable.

“Like nearly all great activists in their struggles, Mozn has been targeted by the state and lives under the constant threat of persecution and imprisonment. Resultantly, she is now at the centre of an investigation launched by the Egyptian authorities as part of its ongoing crackdown on civil society.

"For Mozn and her colleagues in Nazra this means being investigated for receiving 'illegal' overseas funding. But, there is no doubt that Nazra is being specifically targeted because of the work it does around human and civil rights.

“Mozn was to be presented the award at the annual ceremony in Stockholm, however, she was unable to attend as she has been banned from leaving Egypt on account of the investigation. Therefore, it was up to us travel to Egypt to see her and present her with the award for her tremendously hard work and her bravery.

“It was a great honour to attend tonight and also to reassure her that she has the support of feminist activists and progressive political activists from all over the world."

Toggle

Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has called for open civic debate about the successes and failures of the European Union sixty years on from the occasion which paved the way for the creation of the EU as we know it today.

MEP Boylan said:

“This weekend marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which brought about the creation of the European Economic Community and eventually paved the way for the creation of the EU as it is today. The anniversary offers all Member States the perfect opportunity to engage in wide-ranging civic debate on what the EU means to them, what they see as its successes and failures, and the future direction of the EU.

“There has no doubt been great successes of the EU, doubtless there have been failures too. We should celebrate the relative peace and prosperity that has been brought to Europe since the treaty. However, there should be no blurring of what this treaty did sixty years ago and the EU of today.

“We cannot on one hand celebrate prosperity and advancement without criticising the inequality and poverty that have been created through the EU austerity agenda, neo-liberal policies and extreme free-market based approach to trade.

“Similarly, we cannot celebrate the relative peace that was brought to the Europe without assessing the current unrelenting push for the militarisation of Europe at all levels, from coordinated security and defence policy through to an EU army. 

“In spite of all backslapping of EU leaders and commissioners, for many citizens around Europe the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome will be a reminder of what the EU should be and still can be - a peaceful, prosperous, social, and benevolent union of Member States. 

“Such a project will take time and effort, most of all it will require the EU to move away from the direction it has been arrogantly and ignorantly heading in past decades. It is imperative that this is done.

“Now is not a time for naval gazing, it is a time for open, critical civic debate about the EU and its future to achieve the social and caring Europe that was originally envisioned."