"Tax transparency is vital but taxation policy must be set at national level" - Matt Carthy MEP
Speaking today from the European Parliament Plenary Session in Brussels, Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy welcomed the sentiment behind the European Commission's Action Plan on a "Fair and Efficient Corporate Tax System" but stated that "Corporate Tax Policies must always remain within the direct competency of each Member State".
Carthy, who is a member of the Parliament's Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee, and is shadow rapporteur on the European Parliament legislative report "Bringing transparency, coordination and convergence to corporate tax policies in the Union" stated:
"Sinn Féin want to ensure that Tax Fairness and Transparency is placed at the center of any Taxation Legislation and this extends to ensuring that a more equitable Corporate Tax System is implemented.
“My party will not stand over a situation whereby hugely profitable companies are allowed free reign in respect to manipulating our tax legislation while ordinary citizens are forced to comply with unjust and unfair taxation measures introduced by this Government with the intention of safeguarding vested financial interests.
"Nevertheless, let me be clear here that in my role on the Economic and Monetary Committee, I am seeking to ensure that the interests of the Irish people are placed at the forefront of any economic policy including corporate taxation.
"The Commissions 5 point action plan, while laudable in its sentiment, is not the mechanism for achieving this. It repeatedly points to harmonisation of tax policies. Moreover, it recommends that Member States adopt the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base a proposal put forward by the Commission in 2011 and one which Sinn Féin wholly opposes.
“It does not serve the interests of the ordinary Irish citizen to have our sovereignty relinquished through tax harmonisation. It is absolutely and fundamentally the right of the Government of each member state to legislate in the best interests of their citizens, including the setting of corporate rates.
"All matters relating to corporate taxation are a matter of national competency and the EU has no role in dictating or interfering with Irish Taxation Policies.
"I will continue to ensure that genuine and credible actions are taken around corporate tax evasion, specifically in relation to the evidence which suggests that the effective rate of tax paid by multinational and large corporations is in fact much lower than the 12.5 per cent rate set in legislation.
"There is now a big job of work for Ireland in order to develop an equitable & transparent corporate tax regime where multinationals cannot exploit Irish Legislation while at the same time ensuring that at all times that Irish sovereignty is protected.
"Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring that this will happen.