Wednesday 16 August 2017

Ireland is part of 'toxic global tax system that serves wealthiest'

Jim Clarken says that ordinary people foot tax avoidance bill. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Jim Clarken says that ordinary people foot tax avoidance bill. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Ireland has reacted "swiftly" to address aggressive tax avoidance, according to a new book on Irish tax policy to be launched today by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

'Irish Tax Policy in Perspective', a collaboration between the Finance Deparment and the Irish Tax Institute, also cautions against the possible gains that might be recovered from a controversial wealth tax.

ITI president Mark Barrett said the changed shape of global economies and the Irish economy in recent years had brought about a more intense focus on tax.

"Tax affects our economy, our growth and our expenditure plans," said Mr Barrett.

"It's an important lever to drive innovation and expansion, and as such it is critical that we resist external threats to erode our tax sovereignty."

The collection of essays comes as Oxfam branded the Republic of Ireland the sixth-worst country for helping corporations to cheat their way out of billions of euro in tax bills each year.

Jim Clarken, chief executive of the charity's Irish division, said the country was part of a toxic global system that services the very wealthiest while ordinary people pay the price and lose out on essential public services.

"Around the world, we are known as a country of good fun, bad weather and awful tax policies that facilitate worsening inequality by allowing some of the world's richest companies to avoid paying their fair share to society," he said. "This is no badge of honour."

Bermuda was ranked the worst in a study of 15 countries.

Irish Independent

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