Full Dail debate needed on Paradise Papers

09 November 2017

The revelations from the Paradise Papers highlight once again the need for a Standing Commission on Taxation in order to tackle tax avoidance, according to Labour Finance spokesperson Joan Burton as she spoke on a Topical Issue in the Dáil, where she also called for a full debate on the Papers.

Deputy Burton said:

“The publication of the Panama Papers a year ago, and the Paradise Papers this week, have shown once again the scale and variety of tax avoidance schemes that exist to hide and protect wealth from taxes that ordinary Irish people have to pay.

“I am calling on the Minister for Finance to commit to producing a detailed report on the reputational implications for Ireland in particular from these papers; and if he will set up, as I have suggested for some time, a Standing Commission on Taxation.

“Such a Commission would review loopholes as they arise in the tax structure, to ensure all companies and residents make an appropriate contribution.

“It would also ensure that the type of avoidance schemes used by Ireland’s elite to hide their finances could be clamped down on soon as they arise.

“As was highlighted in one example involving the avoidance of VAT on the import of private jets through the Isle of Man, EY advised that ‘there is a possibility of a Revenue challenge’ which goes to show the need for such a Commission.

“I said on Monday that there are a number of outstanding questions still to be answered about these papers by the Department of Finance, the Revenue and Irish Banks both on the type of avoidance that has been facilitated by Irish Banks, and what was known by Irish officials before Finance Bill changes that brought in an off-shore tax amnesty, and changes in the capital allowances regime for the intangible assets of multinationals.

“It is my contention that the revelations in these papers are a threat to democracy in Ireland and the EU, as it shows that a wealthy elite can pull money away from the tax authorities, and there is no doubt that the emergence of these schemes have contributed to the global rise of inequality.”

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