Extension of TAXE committee worthless without increased transparency - Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has said that the European Parliament's decision to extend the timeframe of the special committee into tax rulings will be worthless unless there is greater transparency from governments, the commission and Multi-National corporations.
Carthy, a member of the European Parliament's Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee, was speaking after he participated in a debate on the first report of the committee in the Strasbourg plenary on Tuesday.
"In recent months I have been proactively involved in the ongoing EU TAXE Inquiry Committee which has the stated aim of seeking to bring transparency and accountability to both the European and International Taxation system.
"I, like many citizens across Europe, have been dismayed by the serious obstruction of TAXE's work by the EU Commission, corporations and national governments all of which have refused to provide full document access.
"Indeed, the Irish Government have been among those who have refused to provide access to crucial meeting minutes and the European Commission have also withheld an important database containing all harmful tax practices in the EU.
"We should be clear: Ireland's ability to set its corporation or any other tax rate is not in question and any suggestion which would undermine taxation sovereignty will be vigorously resisted by Sinn Féin MEPs. What is in question is the assertion that Tax avoidance by Multi-National Companies in Ireland amounts to about €4 billion in lost tax revenue.
"Multinational companies play an important role in our economy, but that cannot mean that they can be exempt from paying their fair share of tax. Irish SMEs would never get away with not paying the 12.5% corporate tax rate.
"The mentality that has allowed large corporations to avoid paying tax is the same that has forced hundreds of thousands of our young people to emigrate, that has allowed 250,000 to remain unemployed while 85,000 people are on activation schemes such as JobBridge and approximately 110,000 people to be underemployed seeking proper hours and conditions.
"It is the same mentality that allowed the wealth of the 100 richest people in the State to increase by €12 billion while ordinary families struggled.
"Part of the reason for that breakdown in services is the fundamental tax injustice that exists. The Irish Government and key players within the European Union including Jean-Claude Juncker and Jeroen Dijsselbloem have been ideologically opposed to getting these companies to pay their fair share of taxation.
"The Irish Government should be leading the campaign for transparency, not restricting it and Sinn Féin will continue to press this issue".