Saturday, 2 April 2011

Ireland facilitates multinational tax dodging... with a begging bowl in both hands.

It's a bit of a hard landing, isn't it?  From being the cocky "we'll tell you how to run an economy", new-money braggarts of the EU we are now back to being the beggars of Europe. 

Now, however, we can't find a begging bowl big enough for the bail-out our domestic banks need.  Banks our Government guaranteed.  Banks that  ran up massive debts on the back of Irish individuals' and institutions' stupid property speculations.

But we can still hang on to that comical sense of overblown pride, as we are "business friendly".  We won't mention the reverse state socialism of Nama, Bank bail-outs and investor mortgage moratoriums for now.

You will hear a lot of misguided comment on  "imperialism" in Ireland, usually in relation to Cromwell and the 800 years (yawn).  Well boys and girls, tug your foine Oirish forelocks to your new masters - USA Inc, and Ireland's role in facilitating multinationals to evade tax.

A recent report called Driving the Getaway Car? Ireland, Tax and Development  published on behalf of  Afri, Christian Aid, Comhlamh, Oxfam and Trocaire found the following (Cian Nihill, Irish Times, March 30th):

"Irish legislation is jeopardising the 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate while aiding the robbery of tax from poorer countries according to a report published on behalf of six leading global development organisations.

Speaking at the launch of the report this morning in Dublin the report’s author, Dr Sheila Killian of the University of Limerick, said that some multinational corporations are illegally diverting profits to Ireland from abroad in order to pay less tax and damaging Ireland’s international reputation.
Dr Killian maintained that by being perceived as a tax haven, Ireland will find it increasingly difficult to attract multinationals that are conscious of their global image.

She also pointed to the difficulties that have arisen recently between Ireland and other EU countries in negotiations to keep our corporate tax rate at 12.5 per cent.
The report advised that by becoming a leader on a fairer international tax system, Ireland would be in a better position to negotiate on the 12.5 per cent rate.

It claimed that a small but significant minority of companies, with vey little presence in Ireland - in terms of employment and manufacturing – are sold goods and services by foreign sections of the parent multinational. By subsequently selling on the produce from Ireland, these multinationals can avoid the higher tax rates in the country of origin. By doing so, they deprive the original country of its deserved and often much needed tax revenue."

Ireland's 12.5% tax rate has come under criticism recently, but the real issue  that companies  with shelf operations in Ireland channel their profits through it to avoid their tax obligations elsewhere...

So there you have it.  We are the scammers, leeches and guttersnipes of Europe, with not a gramme of self-respect. 

Which is why some form of  Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base is the only thing that will stop Ireland facilitating unscrupulous, tax-dodging conglomerates.

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Anonymous said...

"A Better Quality of Misery”.
At one time it would have been inconceivable to be one of the United States of America because of the distance involved. Now it would be possible to be state like Hawaii.

In this way, we could have more sophisticated embezzlement and proper organised crime and the Irish could go to hell with smiles on their faces, instead of with a frown.

We could, in the words of Mae West: “enjoy a better quality of misery”.


anna said...

Today I was at the GPO: for a few weeks Libyans were demonstrating. This week I signed petition for Syrians- many 100’s of ordinary protestors have disappeared or been shot dead there. Two weeks ago I signed an Amnesty petition to aid people in Zimbabwe. I said to Amnesty I thought things were quieter there neo- no they said they are not.
But Never mind all that Human Right abuses worldwide! The Real Story is here: Brave Irish people are protesting that human rights abuse, the Queens visit
OH GROAN: I didn’t see the Eirigi teacher I met 2 weeks ago, maybe I scared him away. Another republican group had a stall. Actually I spoke to them before, said I wasn’t interested in their campaign. This time I picked up a calendar(!!) with some very tasteful view of people whose faces were badly bruised- evidently this was all done by Crown forces etc. Not doubting this-
BUT I did think of asking did they have any similarly tasteful calendars of the blown up victims of IRA bombs- but no point in arguing with boneheads, so I didn’t speak but walked away, one of then said sarcastically ‘ Nice to see you again’

And now this on the RTE news:
A PSNI officer has been killed, when a device exploded under a car in the Highfield Close area of Omagh, Co Tyrone.
Ronan Kerr, 25, was killed when a device exploded under his Ford Mondeo car outside his home just before 4pm today as he left for work.
The victim is understood to have recently graduated from the PSNI training college.
.The Taoiseach said 'I utterly condemn today's horrific bomb attack in Co Tyrone. This was a heinous and pointless act of terror. Those who carried it out want to drag us back to the misery and pain of the past .They are acting in defiance of the Irish people. They can never succeed in defeating the democratic will of the people. '
NI's First Minister Peter Robinson said it was an evil act by a miniscule group that wanted to drag us back into the past .
David Cameron has condemned the 'wicked and cowardly' bomb attack and said that the perpetrators were trying to take NI back to a 'dark and bloody past.
Eamon Gilmore said that 'those behind such violence have no mandate and are acting contrary to the democratic will of the people of Ireland.'
The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has described the killing as disgraceful and said the revulsion felt among members of An Garda Siochana would reinforce the determination to do everything possible to counteract the threats posed by dissident groups.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, TD, has said 'Sinn Féin is determined that those responsible will not set back the progress of the Peace and Political Process.'

anna said...

I sensed that future problems would be when multinationals would decamp to 3rd World. I knew the property bubble would burst - it’s just bit worst than I expected. I did realise a lot of the wealth of this country was from this officially sponsored money laundering. Incredibly , Ireland once DID plan its economy - Huge advances came in the 60’s with solid work by the IDA to attract industry etc…yet now Ireland lives in cloud cuckoo land re jobs and economy: many multinationals are only here for tax breaks- and could easily go to third world ( and I through my civil service job I saw many jobs leave to go there): Property boom likewise inflated economy and jobs market: also total national income is artificially inflated by figures GM described above- multinationals importing and swiftly exporting again- and few of the billions involved go to our Revenue , but to company profits, though certain figures are added to make the economy look better than it is
YET none of the above can whip the Irish into a frenzy like anti British hatred can. Irish people to their Credit protested in huge numbers, North and South over the Omagh bomb in 1998. Now 13 years later aother young Omagh man has been murdered by dissident republicans - for being a policeman. 13 years ago the NI police service was about 9% Catholic- a recipe for distrust and abuse of power. The Peace agreements and positive recruitment pushed this up to over 30%- isn’t thatwhat Catholics wanted? EVERY nation wants police representative of their own community. Cruel callous republican boneheads have decided otherwise.
Two weeks ago I met a Eirig1 nut ( a Teacher) outside the GPO bravely protesting the Queens visit, all because the Queen was ‘illegally‘ occupying NI. I said the peace agreements had decided NI would stay as it was, part of the UK, until the people of NI, Protestant And Catholic decided otherwise. That’s democracy - I said. No he said- democracy is a 32 county Republic. ( A Ridiculous fatuous statement- with no real meaning in itself). No word of the illegal war the IRA waged for 28 yrs killing nearly 3000- and as John Hume said, killing more Catholics than the loyalists and British army.
Ireland has Huge problems ; ROI has huge economic and political problems. The North is still building up trust and healing the wounds of war.
13 years ago, with many others I laid flowers and toys (for injured children) at the GPO, for the 28 victims of republican violence in Omagh.
Now if these Republican nuts could get their stalls out of the way, maybe I could do the same for this young Catholic police, man.
Tiochfadh ar la- NEVER I hope if that’s the scum who think they will rule us.

The Gombeen Man said...

Too true, DBMG.

Anna, a snotty middle-class teacher in Eirigi is as far detached from the reality what did go on in NI as you can get.

Anonymous said...

Last year I met an Eirigi fundamentalist, who had ideals that were no different from those of Islamic fundamentalism. She wanted to destroy and kill and believed Eirigi would be justified in doing this. This lady had been educated at University College Galway, but she was psychotic within the correct clinical meaning of the term. She was completely insightless about anything else but achieving an Irish speaking, Roman Catholic controlled United Ireland. What a sick thought.
To Anna: I genuinely find your stuff most stimulating and inspirational.


anna said...

Above comment is very true- and I could not agree more- very well worded both by GM man and report writers;
I could not avoid, however, commeting on the sad day that brings us back to the brutal past, in some ways there is a connection-
Self Respect and Real national self worth is SO much lacking.
SO stop giving knee jerk support to violent thugs AND stop supporting our raft of Gombeen politicians/ bankers/ 1% of 'quality' class.

The Gombeen Man said...

I agree 100%. Eirigi are crackpots. It is like when one generation of "republicans" eventually learns, you get another generation of them starting off from scratch like bigoted lemmings.

Scumbags like the Real IRA - who brought us Omagh - kill Catholic PSNI personnel, then later claim that the police force is sectarian as it is overwhelmingly "protestant".

And then you have the placard waving cheerleaders of Eirgi giving their approval from a safe distance.

Anonymous said...

yes indeed MR GM tax evasion is at the core of the mindset of any irish gombeem worth his salt and is worn as a badge of honor, iam currently working on a cunning plan to halt this, the plan is to bring black adder and his operations manager baldrick to irland to track down all known FF TD chimps and baboon bankers lock them in an empty building site and make them listen to the rubber bandits full blast 24-7for a month also leave a truck load of celtic tiger shit so the public can have free shot,we will then ask them if they remember where the money is hidden i expect the rubber bandits will have softened most of them enough to spill the beans, for the hold outs we will bring in blackwater for a spot of waterboarding then its off to the caymans to pickup that newly found cash free drinks for all in black adder and water teams, maybe buy a chopper or two in the us on the way home to helps us get around to the races etc, next we will put all unsold property on ebay to be sold to the highest bidder after a week ,i hear the russians are mad about irish property when the ruskies arrive they also will bring lots of hookers this will bring down the cost of hookers oops i mean living this is a win win situation, and will quickly restore our little paradise lost to its former glory UP KERRY -BH

The Gombeen Man said...

Mr BH,

Do you know, that's the most sensible plan I have heard for some time!

Anonymous said...

"A Better Quality of Misery” (Part II)
Yes, your idea is very good, but I still think that we should approach US President Barack Obama when he comes to Ireland about becoming one of the United States.

It has a more subtle type of corruption, and we would be more familiar with sociological issues. Northern Ireland would probably join in and there would be a 'united state' within the United States.

These days, distance would not be a barrier and imagine the USA being only 13 miles from Europe at it's nearest point in Antrim.


Dakota said...

But sure aren't we the economic miracle capital of the world? Isn't this 12.5% just an other mirage? Isn't the craic at 0%? Aren't we the craic capital of the world? Can't we live off this?
Oh yes, with the expansion (and this one was real) of the EU, this last vestige of the giggery pokery is virtually all that's keeping the life raft afloat. Now they are giggery pokering the giggery pokery. Backward side water, this septic Isle? No surely not! It's a grand country, so many honest, trustworthy, decent types and the corruption is non existent. It's so fabulous there's even no need for the UN?It's a grand country, just don't live here.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ DB. Well, we've had the Mafia since 1922 anyway, and regularly elect gansters who would put old Al himself to shame. Maybe not such a bad idea?

@ Dakota. I've got an awful feeling that Mr O'Leary will be busy over the next few years - volcanic dust cloud levy or not.