Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach
That brings me to my final question because the Minister knows I am not just in favour of these once-off amounts being used in this way. I am in favour of, for example, increasing the amount of revenue we bring in through corporation tax, increasing income tax on high earners etc. That is ongoing revenue. I note that the Minister and the Government are now very concerned about issues of sovereignty. I can understand this in the context of how these dynamics will play out post Brexit. I am concerned about issues of sovereignty as I interpret the word to mean the right of elected bodies here to decide on matters that happen here. However, why is the Government's concern about sovereignty only ever expressed whenever we are talking about the potential for an increased need for taxation on big business? The Government was never concerned about sovereignty when it came to the fiscal treaty, of which the Minister was in favour, which clearly involved a restriction of sovereignty and a transfer of powers away from the national Parliament here to the European Commission? The Government was not concerned about sovereignty when it came to the Maastricht treaty, of which I presume the Minister was also in favour. The Government was not concerned about sovereignty when it came to the troika programme. Why are sovereignty and the green jersey only ever rolled out whenever it is possible that big business and multinationals will be faced with increased corporation tax, as opposed to when demands for increased austerity, restrictions on public service spending and so on are made by the European Commission or when structural changes in this regard are made through the likes of the fiscal treaty?