Tax avoidance & the Overseas Development Assistance programme

Thu, Sep 30, 2021

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Neasa spoke in the Dáil today on how facilitating tax avoidance is undoing the positive contribution of Ireland's Overseas Development Assistance programme. It is like trying to fill a leaky bucket.

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Neasa Hourigan, TD:

Tánaiste, the Programme for Government recognises that our Overseas Development Assistance programme is “an essential element of our overall foreign policy”.

A fortnight ago Christian Aid produced research on Ireland’s role in facilitating tax avoidance by multinationals in developing countries with particular reference to a company operating here in a number of locations.

The positive impact of Ireland’s Overseas Development Assistance is being undone by our role in tax avoidance that deprives these countries of much needed tax revenues.

It is like trying to fill a leaky bucket.

In response to questions on the Christian Aid research Minister Donohoe recently committed to “propose legislation to address tax avoidance” where such avoidance was not covered by an existing agreement.

I would like to know if any legislation is to be brought forward to address the tax avoidance identified by Christian Aid.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar:

Thanks Deputy for raising this important issue. I’m afraid I haven’t had a chance to study that research. I’ve seen some news reports but don’t know about it in any detail

What I can say is that, in almost every budget, there are proposals and and in almost every finance act there are proposals to close loopholes where tax avoidance and tax evasion is occurring and I’m confident that you’ll see some measures in that space on budget day and also in the Finance Bill

We have already got rid of things like stateless corporations, the Double Irish, some of those loopholes and avoidance opportunities that existed in the past. I’m confident that you’ll see more of that in the Finance Bill