Brian Hayes chancing his arm with Corporate Tax comments – Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West Matt Carthy has described Brian Hayes as a “chancer” following comments from the Fine Gael MEP that Sinn Féin MEPs “sided with the far right and refuse to back corporate tax transparency rules”.
Carthy, who has been campaigning for full public country-by-country reporting by large multinationals, abstained on today’s vote on the proposal in the European Parliament due to the report being watered down and ridden with loopholes by conservative groups.
The Sinn Féin MEP said:
“Tax justice campaigners, development NGOs and progressive economists have been campaigning for the introduction of full public country-by-country reporting for more than a decade. This proposal could be the most important development to date in lifting the veil on profit-shifting by multinational corporations.
“I voted in favour of amendments to broaden the coverage of the Directive to companies that meet the EU definition of ‘large undertakings’ rather than only the 15% of companies covered under this proposal, and to ensure that there is a full breakdown of the data in each country where a multinational operates.
“Fine Gael on the other hand voted in favour of amendments to introduce a massive loophole that allows giant corporations to claim ‘commercial sensitivity’ in order to avoid public disclosure of how much tax they have paid and where it was paid to. The Parliament was divided between left and right on this issue, and the right unfortunately carried the day by a narrow majority.
“Organisations like Oxfam, Transparency International and others have been scathing of this move by the conservative and liberal groups to introduce this massive loophole, calling it a means for corporations to continue ‘to shroud their affairs in secrecy’.
“Hayes suggests that public disclosure would ‘make business impossible to function in Europe’ is an absurd claim. We already have public country-by-country reporting for the largest banks and extractive industries in the EU, and these industries have not reported any reduction in their competitiveness.
“The fact that Hayes cites three of the biggest corporate tax avoiders in the world – Facebook, Apple and Google – just goes to show he is a chancer.”