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Carthy calls Commissions planned Tax Transparency Package a ‘fudge’

19 March, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, speaking today said:

“New legislation announced by EU this week – with the stated aim of obliging EU states to reveal all tax deals – is, in fact, a fudge. It is ironic that the European Commission is calling for more transparency around tax rulings while at the same time simply unveiling a package which has existed since the 1970´s.

“This is a clear attempt to dupe the public into believing that the EU are being proactive in relation to this matter, when in fact there has been an obligation on Member States since 1977 grounded in Council Directive 77/799 to exchange spontaneous information on contentious tax rulings which was reaffirmed in an updated Council directive in 2011 and only recently amended by Directive 2014/107/EU which came into force on January 5th 2015.

“In fact, only last month I submitted a question to the European Commission asking about the Irish Government's compliance with this 1977 directive and subsequent amending Directives.  I am awaiting a response.

“It goes without saying that there needs to be concrete measures put in place in order to move towards an EU and indeed a global tax transparency.

“However, these must be authentic actions and not merely an exercise in cosmetics.

“Tax evasion and cross-border tax fraud is a major concern for many parties, including Sinn Fein, as untaxed income is considerably reducing our national tax revenues.  As Ireland tries to find a sustainable economic recovery we must develop a healthier reputation as a transparent place to pay tax and face up to any changes necessary to create transparent global tax system where multinationals cannot escape their duties to countries including developing countries.

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament's Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee, further stated:

“There is no party more committed to protecting Irish tax sovereignty than Sinn Féin. In my role on the Economic and Monetary Committee in the European Parliament, I am seeking to ensure that the interests of the Irish people are placed at the forefront of any economic policy.  

“However, direct taxation is a matter of national competency and the EU has no role in dictating or interfering with Irish Taxation Policies.  It does not serve the interests of the ordinary Irish citizen to have our sovereignty surrendered or relinquished.

“Nevertheless, advocating for strong tax transparency measures does not interfere with Irish sovereignty. It is in the interests of the ordinary Irish Citizen that genuine and credible actions are taken around tax evasion”.

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