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European Council must tackle tax evasion and improve tax collection- Crowe

22 May, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on foreign affairs, trade, and diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has called on the European Council, when it meets today, to propose measures to tackle tax evasion and improve tax collection efficiency throughout the EU.
He said honest Irish taxpayers need assurance that they are not propping up tax-shy multi-national global giants.
Deputy Crowe, who raised the issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil yesterday, said:
“This topic has been discussed with multinationals in parliaments in European member States and the US, with tax evasion and Ireland being linked in more than one parliament committee hearing.
“According to Herman Van Rompuy, a staggering €1 trillion is lost to tax evasion every year in EU member states. This is seven times the entire annual budget of the EU.
“We have heard reports by the US Congress that Apple is only paying a two per cent tax rate here, well below the 12.5% statutory rate.
“Although this State has avoided being labelled a tax haven by international bodies such as the OECD, some academics and high profile economists believe that it is.
“It seems that we are operating two very different tax systems, one for big multinational corporations and a second more onerous system for smaller companies and individuals. This is not a fair system of commerce and is undoubtedly hurting our domestic economy.
“This is contributing to our stagnant economy and keeping unemployment currently at 14%.
“PAYE workers are bearing the brunt of tax increases and social spending cuts, yet wealthy influential corporations are able to escape through tax avoidance measures.
“Investments from multinational corporations in Ireland have provided much for the state in terms of job creation and payroll taxes, and these jobs need to be protected.
“All EU countries need to improve their tax collection efficiency and tackle tax evasion and fraud because it is ordinary workers and their families who are paying for the shortfall in revenue.”

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