Wednesday, 24 June 2009

James Hardie set up in Ireland. Asbestos fund fears.

There is much trumpeting in the media today that Boston Scientific is to create 45 new jobs in Galway, having announced closure of its Donegal plant sometime in 2010. But that’s enough for the Government to create a gloss on things these days.

There has not been so much about the announcement by Australian building materials manufacturer James Hardie to set up here in order to reduce its tax liability; a fact brought to the attention of Gombeen Nation by a friend based in Australia.

The company, which was heavily involved in the manufacture of Asbestos-based products is currently paying into an Australian fund to compensate people who have suffered from Abestos-relelated illnesses, including cancer.

In 2001, the company shifted its headquarters to the Netherlands to reduce its tax payments, leaving behind a depleted compensation fund. Now even that’s not enough, and it is to come to Ireland to take advantage of the superior corporate tax avoidance opportunities on offer.

President of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia, Barry Robson, is concerned about the latest moves impact on compensation payments. "Hardies are always looking to find a safe tax haven, so this is nothing new," he said. "What we are very concerned about is, in all of this moving around the world, moving from country to country, it eats into the profits, and also makes it less likely that they can put money into the fund."

According to reports, it will cost the company between $51m to $71m to set up here.
Isn't it great that we can still attract the cream of world corporations to our rotten little land.

What next? Union Carbide?

Australian news report

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Anonymous said...

Didnt Union Carbide supposedly go bust (i.e. shut up shop and reopen the next day) or get bought out or something along those lines ?

The Gombeen Man said...

I don't know to be honest. Do you mean after India? I think they are still around at the moment, though.

Bernd said...

Re. "trumpeting" ... would that be the tune of Midnight Oil's "Blue Sky Mine" in the James Hardie case?

The Gombeen Man said...

Very good Bernd. Would be very appropriate anyhow. Some good little numbers had Midnight Oil... a "heart in the right place" band, I think.

Anonymous said...

Hack again?!