The Workers’ Party has called for an urgent government response to the latest research, published this week, listing Ireland as the world’s biggest tax haven.
Workers’ Party city councillor Éilis Ryan said:
“A report released yesterday by researchers in the University of California (Berkeley), shows that 50% of the foreign profits of US multinationals were put on the accounting books in countries considered to be tax havens. 18% of all profits were put on the books in Ireland – over double the amount put on the books in any other country.
“What this shows is that, for a US company doing business in France, or Zambia, or anywhere else, there is a huge incentive for them to transfer their profits to multinationals in countries with tax haven-style regimes, such as Ireland.”
Councillor Ryan continued:
“This is very clearly damaging the countries where these profits are being transferred from, by reducing the tax revenues those countries are entitled to.
“But it is also further worrying evidence that Ireland’s own economic strategy is built on sand. The Berkeley report estimates that pre-tax profits booked by US multinationals in Ireland are 800% of the wages paid by those companies in Ireland. This is compared with well below 50% in Germany and France. It’s further evidence that our government’s tax haven economic strategy is delivering for corporate profits – not for workers in terms of jobs or wages.”
Councillor Ryan concluded:
“It is astounding that no major political party is willing to tackle Ireland’s low tax model. What the Workers’ Party proposes is that, in order to move away from our high-risk dependence on corporate profit shifting, we need to build and invest in our own indigenous, publicly-owned industries, which can actually contribute to our society, instead of simply facilitating vultures.
“This will be a major plank of our European election campaign next May.”
The report’s full title is “The Exorbitant Tax Privilege.” Its authors are Gabriel Zuman (University of California, Berkeley) and Thomas White (University of Sheffield), and was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, MA).It is available online here.