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Ireland in tax spotlight again as EU Parliament calls out Fine Gael’s policies

21 January, 2021 - by Chris MacManus MEP

Ireland in tax spotlight again as EU Parliament calls out Fine Gael’s policies

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said Fine Gael’s corporation tax policies have once again thrown Ireland’s corporation tax schemes into the spotlight, with the EU Parliament declaring Ireland a tax haven. He said Fine Gael’s infamous intangible assets tax scheme and policies on royalties and dividends now mean Ireland is regarded as a tax haven by the Parliament.

MacManus said:

“Once again, Ireland is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The EU Commission’s “Country Specific Recommendations” for Ireland have called for action on the facilitation of aggressive tax planning. The lack of action from successive Irish governments now means, in the view of the Parliament, that Ireland is to be regarded as a tax haven.”

“Those who oppose Ireland’s tax sovereignty now have another weapon with which to push for tax harmonisation and a minimum corporation tax rate across Europe as this resolution calls for. For that reason and because Ireland is entitled to due process before being named and shamed I abstained on this resolution but there is no doubt that Fine Gael’s tax policies are doing huge damage to Ireland’s reputation and making EU tax harmonisation more likely.”

The Midlands Northwest MEP said “Tax Havens have a huge cost to the world and cannot be ignored. They allow billions of euro that could be used on public services and investment to be hidden away shifting the tax burden onto workers. We cannot be hypocrites, what is good as a standard for a Caribbean island is good for EU countries. If a genuine test, rather than a political exercise, shows Ireland is a tax haven then it should be treated the same as any other tax haven.”

MacManus concluded by calling on the government to take responsibility. “The Irish government must act as Sinn Féin have proposed, by ending the element of the intangible assets scheme whereby assets already onshored are exempt from the 80% cap and by supporting public country by country reporting. Patience is wearing thin and Ireland’s moral ground is shifting away rapidly.” ENDS

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