Business World

Sunday 18 March 2018

Noonan cool on global calls to reform tax system

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

MICHAEL Noonan said Ireland won't unilaterally reform the tax system to allay international concerns.

"It's unfair to put pressure on Ireland to move because any move we make will be of no consequence," he said at a funds conference in Dublin, adding that the Government welcomed multilateral action.

"There is nothing in the tax code that we can do," he said.

Mr Noonan's refusal to crack down on tax avoidance came as Britain's overseas territories announced that they will not sign up to an international convention aimed at tackling tax evasion ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland next week.

UK prime minister David Cameron has invited the mainly Caribbean territories to London ahead of hosting the annual gathering of the G8 group of leading economies, at which he has put tax avoidance and evasion high on the agenda.

In Dublin, Mr Noonan also reacted coolly to controversial EU proposals to regulate shadow banking.

The minister said the Government backed changes, but awaited European Commission proposals on the issue "with caution".

Shadow banking, which refers to unregulated banking activities by non-traditional parties like money market funds and hedge funds, was blamed for the collapse of the $62.5bn US Reserve Primary Fund in 2008, which triggered a run on funds that helped to freeze global credit markets.

Irish Independent

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