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Companies Bill should close loopholes and provide the highest standard of business

6 November, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Jonathon O’Brien TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has said the Companies Bill should close loopholes and provide the highest standards of business.

Over the past two days the Bill and amendments have been discussed by the Select Committee for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Deputy O’Brien said;

“This Bill, while largely technical, sets the framework for which companies must operate. It is an opportunity to set the highest standards of transparency and corporate governance. Our recent economic history is littered with companies and directors that engaged in sharp practise, put profit before corporate responsibility and all of our people are now paying the cost.

“The reputation of this state has recently been comprised by accusations of facilitating tax avoidance and in particular the abuse of companies that are registered in this state but not liable for tax. Government expects all our citizens and businesses to pay their fair share of tax, however the government is continuing to offer loop holes to a class of larger companies to avoid tax.

“Sinn Féin tabled modest proposals that would close some of the loop holes that facilitate tax avoidance and maximise accountability and transparency. The government has rejected these proposals.

“The outworking of this bill will mean that certain classes of companies to be registered in this state and yet have only one director in the EU, be managed and controlled anywhere in the world, and be exempt from tax and reporting. It is clear that these loopholes are open to exploitation and the government is facilitating Irish registration to be a flag of corporate convenience.

“When questioned the government offers no evidence to the value of these Irish Register but non-resident companies and could not even provide how many exist at present. This is simply not good enough.

“It appears that the government has learnt little from the recent economic and corporate collapse. What is required is tax fairness, that all companies should pay an equal percentage of tax on profits. There is a need for the government to revisit the provisions of this bill to ensure fairness and the highest standards of transparency and corporate governance. Sinn Féin will again return to this matter at later stages of the Bill.”


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