Archive for August, 2016

The entire political establishment colluded with Apple in an act of “economic treason” to rob the public of billions desperately needed cash for public housing and other cash starved public services.

Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fail and some independents turned off the cameras and voted down a PBP motion in the Finance committee calling for Apple to be brought in and questioned about its tax affairs.

Forensic examination of the tax affairs of all companies that benefitted from the “double-Irish” needed

michael-noonanIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, and Finance spokesperson for the People Before Profit Alliance, reacting to the EU ruling on Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple, has said the ruling confirms what People Before Profit have been saying for a number of years, that “the entire political establishment have colluded over many years with Apple in an act of economic treason with to rob the Irish public of €13 billion or more in desperately needed cash for public housing, the health service and other vital public services.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that in the last Dail he put down a motion to a special sub-committee of the Finance committee, calling for Apple to be brought into the committee to answer questions about its tax affairs in Ireland, and that Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fail banded together, voting to turn off the camera’s during the discussion of the motion and then voted down the motion.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said, “The closing of ranks of the entire political establishment to protect Apple’s tax avoidance strategies and to aid them was effectively “economic treason” against the citizens of the country.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said that “to appeal the EU ruling rather than collect the €13 billion in owed taxes from Apple would be to continue the economic treason committed by the political establishment against the citizens of this country – particularly those who are homeless and poor, those suffering the dire crisis in our health service or young people suffering from the chronic lack of funding and investment in our education system.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said the government should “abandon their disgraceful plans to waste more public money appealing the EU ruling and instead collect the taxes from Apple that they owe the people of this country.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett concluded saying, that in his opinion “Apple were not the only company that benefited from a systematic policy pursued by successive Fine Gael and Fianna Fail led government’s to facilitate aggressive tax avoidance and outright tax evasion by some of the biggest and most profitable corporations in the world.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett called for a “forensic investigation of the tax affairs of all the companies based in Ireland, who benefitted from the so-called “double-Irish” tax scam.”

Please Note: Motion submitted Thursday 27th June 10.34am
Motion to Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform
From Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett
“That the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform sub-committee on Global Corporate/Multi-national Taxation Architecture, shall as part of its terms of reference, invite into the committee to give testimony and answer questions, representatives of multinational corporations based here in Ireland, including representatives of Apple, Google, Facebook and other such corporations as the sub committee may deem appropriate”.
Office of Richard Boyd Barrett TD
01 6183449

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Finance spokesperson for the People Before Profit Alliance and member of the new Dail budget scrutiny committee, has condemned as “outrageous”, government plans to spend large amounts of public money appealing a likely ruling by the EU commission on Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland, that would require Apple re-paying potentially billions to the state in un-paid corporate taxes.

In a Parliamentary Question (17505/16 of 23 June) Deputy Boyd Barrett received a information that that the government and Revenue Commissioners have already spent €667,000 on lawyers to ensure that Apple would not have to re-pay large sums in unpaid corporate taxes to the state. The answer to Deputy Boyd Barrett’s Parliamentary question also revealed that this figure did not include legal expenditure incurred by the Attorney General’s office in the case.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was “unconscionable” that the government now intended “to fork out even more public money to lawyers to appeal a likely adverse ruling on Apple’s Tax affairs, rather than accept the ruling and gain a huge revenue windfall that could be used to help solve the country’s housing emergency and to invest in other public services and vital infrastructure.”

Continue reading

DublinbusBrid Smith TD today welcomed the overwhelming vote for strike action by Dublin Bus drivers and members of the NBRU .
Noting the huge majority in favor of industrial action in pursuit of a pay claim, (over 96% voted in favour), Deputy Smith said the vote reflected the anger not just of bus workers but also reflected a wider sentiment among many workers who have also faced years of pay freezes, cuts and austerity taxes.
“I’m delighted my former colleague in the NBRU have given their union this mandate. After eight years of cuts, concessions and stealth taxes they very much need and deserve a decent pay rise. Unfortunately the Labour Court recommendation was an insult to a group of workers that are effectively owed 6% from past pay deals that were never honored, let alone a decent rise to reflect the sacrifices and cuts they have endured on top of that since 2008”
Deputy Smith also noted that Dublin Bus had returned to profit over the last three years, posting over 23 million euro in profits since 2013. “Given that this comes on the back of huge Government cuts in subsidies to the whole CIE group its a remarkable achievement, paid for both by the workers and the travelling public via fare increases and increased productivity, and only possible because of the work of those drivers and other Dublin Bus workers. Neither the Government nor the company have any excuse not to make a decent offer and pay these drivers” she said. “All talk of a recovery is meaningless unless workers can share in it and unless we raise wages across the economy. Profits and GDP rises will not butter any bread for ordinary workers, we need pay rises and a sharing of the wealth after years of austerity”
Brid Smith TD today condemned the attitude and actions of the Custom House apartment management company in relation to its treatment of several security workers at the complex.
Deputy Smith believes the management’s actions that have resulted in no security cover or untrained cover on several occasions is placing the health and safely of over 3,000 people living in the apartments at risk.
Deputy Smith stated “I would urge the management company to properly engage with these workers, the safety issue is too important to be left to the whims of individuals or to any haphazard arrangement. In the event of an emergency these issues could have huge implication for everybody concerned”
The Apartment complex has been the site of ongoing protests by security workers concerned at both their treatment in relation to workplace issues and safety concerns over staffing arrangements implemented by the management company.
Deputy Smith said she would be contacting both the City Council and other bodies who have a responsibility to ensure such apartments are operated in a safe manner and again urged the company to treat its workers with the respect that their work deserved.

Brid-Smith-2a-241x300Brid Smith TD has expressed her alarm at suggestions that a site that Dublin City council had only recently zoned recreational for the development of a proposed park and children’s playground might instead be used for Rapid Build housing units.

Deputy Smith pointed out that the City council had only recently zoned the site for recreational use after a local community campaign.

That campaign pointed out that the area around the Bridgefoot Street site has one of the highest densities of population in the state with very few public spaces and one of the lowest level of green spaces in the city. Several areas in the immediate catchment are categorised as Very Disadvantaged (The Pobal Index), while the entire area is badly in need of a public space that could encourage community and shared living experiences in a widely diverse and densely housed part of the city.

Deputy Smith said she supported the local community’s campaign and would resist this site being used for Rapid Build Units. “We have a huge housing crisis as result of the actions of developers and financiers and the complete refusal of the state to fund and build proper council and public housing. The same Minister and his colleagues have been in Government for over five years and watched as the state built the lowest level of social housing in its history even as the crisis worsened.

“This proposal is not the solution, nor are the other so called rapid build proposals. Instead of throwing incentives at developers in the hope that we can make them a sufficient profit to build, we need real investment in proper housing for our citizens. We don’t need, and won’t accept that railroading units into already deprived and densely populated areas with no green spaces is any form of a solution. I really fear that this crisis will be used to  fast track planning and bypass any objections. What we need is real funding for proper local authority house building; piecemeal rapid builds or small part V schemes will not solve this crisis”.

Governemnts Direct Provision policy is driven by state racism claims PBP TD Bríd Smith

Brid-Smith-2a-241x300In a statement, People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has said that Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s claim that there is no alternative to the system of Direct Provision marks her ‘abysmal failure to deal with the issue following years of inaction by her party Fine Gael in this area’.

Deputy Smith also pointed out that the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have labelled the system of Direct Provision in Ireland ‘a severe violation of Human Rights’.

This comes after former minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin had said previously that ‘the way we treat asylum seekers says a lot about us as a country’.

Deputy Smith said “These comments from the Minister for Justice are an affront to anyone who believes in equality and human rights.”

“The scandal that is direct provision will one day join the Magdalene laundries, and the abuse of children  in state and church run institutions as an example of our states contempt for the most marginalized and vulnerable. Minister Fitzgerald will be judged harshly by history just as are all those in power who failed to protect the past victims of institutional abuse”.