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Dáil committee to hold hearings on multinational tax rates following Pearse Doherty’s intervention

21 May, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Fein finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, announced today that the Oireachtas Finance Committee will hold hearings to discuss the issue of the low rates of effective corporation tax paid by multinational companies based in Ireland. Doherty contacted the Committee in November to request the hearing. The Donegal deputy said the findings of the US Senate Committee which described Ireland as a tax haven and found that Apple is using Ireland to not only write off its international tax bill, but has a special agreement with the Irish Government to reduce its Irish tax bill to 2%, as absolutely scandalous.

Deputy Doherty said:

"The findings by the US Senate Committee that show Apple is using Ireland to write-off its international tax bill by setting up an Irish incorporated, non-resident entity to handle 30% of its global earnings but pays tax nowhere, and the fact that Apple has a special arrangement with the Irish Government to reduce its domestic corporation tax rate to 2%, is scandalous.

The committee describes Ireland as a tax haven and that is not something this government should be ignoring or dismissing as not their problem.

"The issue of large multi-national corporations like Apple and Google not paying high effective tax rates in Ireland, or using Ireland as a vehicle to avoid paying tax internationally, is prominent in the news now but it’s something Sinn Fein has been highlighting for a period of time.

“I contacted the Oireachtas Finance Committee in November and requested hearings on this issue which are due to commence shortly. I have put a number of names of experts in the field forward to the committee and I have also proposed that we invite the Irish representatives of leading multi-national companies in Ireland in to answer questions.

“Ireland has benefitted from foreign direct investment in our economy in terms of jobs and payroll taxes. These jobs have to be protected. But our corporation tax rate is already very fair and cannot be undermined by a continual writing down of effective tax rates. Ireland is perceived as a tax haven and that is not beneficial to us in the long-term for either jobs, or tax take.

“This government continues to protest that our tax system is transparent. It is transparently flawed. Our tax code has been written for the benefit of large companies and the wealthiest in society, while SMEs and individuals are obliged to pay their tax bills in full. They cannot negotiate reduced tax bills.

“There cannot be one law for the big company and another for the small. This is what I want to get to the bottom of in the committee hearings. This is where we can shine a light on the tax structures and activities of large companies to reveal once and for all if they are playing the game fairly or they, and this government, are taking us for a ride.”

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