Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
I too understand the rules, conventions and protocols in this House but I have no difficulty in identifying, as the media have today, firms that may be practising tax strategies that, although lawful, are immoral. These are not the type of tax strategies or tax avoidance structures that should be facilitated in any way by this country. This is where we interrogate important issues of public policy in this Republic. We are elected representatives of the people and we have a constitutional obligation to interrogate and explore these issues, particularly when states such as our own and others across the European Union and the developing world are being deprived of resources that are rightfully theirs because of the arcane and elaborate structures that certain organisations are permitted to operate. It is bizarre that these are lawful, as I remarked in my initial contribution. We have seen the response from the firm involved to the media. It is predictable. It has said that it has done nothing unlawful so it is okay. That is its defence.
While I understand that the Minister of State does not want to make direct reference to this company, is he aware of any other schemes that are in place that may be similar to the single malt mechanism, which we had been told was closed down in 2018? The Minister of State has gone to some lengths to describe the kind of due diligence that the the Department and the Revenue Commissioners may engage in to identify shelters such as this where they crop up but has any recent assessment been undertaken by his Department in respect of the corporation tax liabilities of Irish-incorporated companies that are tax resident in other tax treaty partner countries since the residency rules changes in the Finance Act 2014 came into force last December?
I will make a final point with the indulgence of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. This Abbott case again shows how taxable profits are being siphoned away from the poorer countries where sales are being made, in this case, Nepal and Ethiopia. I know that a spillover analysis was done by the Department regarding the impact of these kinds of measures on developing countries. Will the Minister of State undertake a similar analysis in light of these reports?