Category: Dail Speeches

Richard Boyd Barrett tackles government on their policies that are causing the housing crisis

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Sickening news this morning that homeless figures have increased yet again to over 7000 (including 2500 children). When I raised it with the Minister – all we get is the same old platitudes which will mean the next figures will be another increase! We need the 50,000 empty homes in cities across Ireland to be taken over by the councils immediately, we need this government to stop relying on the private landlords to deliver social housing and we need an emergency programme to build council houses. In Dun Laoghaire last year there were only 54 actual council houses with permanent tenancies were built and meanwhile over 500 new applications were received by the council. This madness has to stop.

“>Richard Boyd Barrett shows new evidence in Stardust cover-up in Dail

Presenting the evidence in the Dail , brought forward by the Stardust families, which has been ignored and covered-up by successive governments, that the official explanation of the Stardust fire was a lie, and that the state knew this and worked to prevent a new investigation into the evidence over many years and continues to do so.


pbpEnd Ireland’s status as a tax haven and break out of fiscal space straitjacket

Tackle inequality –  use Corporation Tax, Millionaire’s Tax, Debt Repudiation to fund public investment

Transform society – Tackle Housing crisis with 50,000 homes, Develop National Childcare System, Invest in Irish NHS

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said:

“The Apple Tax scandal and the wider scandal of a whole series of corporate tax loop-holes benefiting big corporations and vulture funds have all served to expose Ireland as nothing more than the European off-shore tax haven. This dysfunctional economic model has grossly distorted our growth figures and taken alongside the straight-jacket of debt and EU fiscal rules has ensured that the majority of our citizens take all the pain of recession and get none of the gain when there is growth.

“Over the last five years, the share of gross income going to the top 10% of earners increased from 34% to 39% and roughly half of the increase in total income (€21 billion) also went to this group. In terms of disposable income the richest 10% of households received 24%, whereas the bottom 10% received just 3%. In terms of wealth, the growing gap between the majority and a small elite is even starker. Since the 1980’s the top 10% have increased their share of wealth from 42% to 54%, leaving just five per cent for the bottom 50% of the population. Over the last 20 years the share of the national economic cake going to wages has dropped by about 20 per cent, while corporate profits have soared.

“The basic economic model of the Irish establishment has been to attract foreign direct investment by holding down wages and public spending and allowing an elite of corporations to pay little or no tax.  Within the EU, Ireland relied heavily on London to block any moves against multinational tax evasion. In the aftermath of Brexit, with the noose being tightened around corporate evasion and a very troubled global economy, this is a totally unsustainable economic model.  The situation is further worsened by the crippling effects of odious debt and annual interest payments of 6-7 billion euro, and fiscal rules that prevent us from spending money we actually have. Our budget statement proposes a radical change direction, to break from the tax haven model and the straight-jacket of debt and fiscal space.

“We are proposing a radical €24 billion programme of public investment in infrastructure, strategic enterprise and public services, that will create tens of thousands of jobs in public housing construction, developing a national health service, a national childcare service, renewable energy, renewing our water infrastructure, properly resourcing education, the arts, public transport and other areas . Tinkering around the edges of fiscal space cannot achieve the sort of change and investment that is needed to have an equitable and sustainable economic model. However, a bold change in policy where wealth and profit are taxed fairly can finance the social and economic transformation needed to make this happen.”

Read the alternative budget here:

PBP TD highlights evidence in Revenue figures of a massive increase in profit shifting by Apple and select group of MNC’s in aftermath of 2007 tax ruling, which nail’s lie that government and tax authorities did not collude with tax dodging.

In a speech in the Dail today, Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance has condemned the Dail speeches of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour party spokes people, who he said continued a “dishonest cover-up of their own collusion and the collusion of Ireland’s tax authorities with the tax dodging activities of Apple and a select group of multi-national corporations.”

He said the establishment cover-up and protection of Apple’s tax dodging activities and Irish collusion with them led Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour to vote down a People Before Profit proposal in 2013 to the Finance committee to bring Apple, Facebook and Google into the Dail for questioning, and to further vote to turn off the public camera’s during the debate on the motion.

Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed to the fact that deductions allowed to corporations, which allowed those corporations to reduce the amount of their profits that would be liable to tax, jumped from €2 billion a year in 2003/2004 to €21 billion by 2011. Deputy Boyd Barrett said the figures showed that by far the biggest jump in these write-off’s, which would have benefited Apple and a small number of other multinationals, happened directly after the controversial tax ruling given to Apple in 2007. The deductions allowed by revenue following the ruling jumped from €6 billion in 2007 to €19 billion in 2009 and this massive increase in allowable deductions thus reduced by €20 billion the amount of corporate profits that were subject taxation.  (Ref: Dept. of Finance Technical paper on Effective rates of Corporation Tax in Ireland pp27-28)

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that the Department of Finance has admitted  in a Technical paper on effective rates of corporation tax in Ireland, produced in 2013, that the vast bulk of this enormous increase in tax write-offs were as a result of patent royalty payments of Multinational Corporations to their own non-tax resident  subsidiaries  (i.e. the Double-Irish tax avoidance scheme.) (Ref: Dept. of Finance Technical paper on Effective rates of Corporation Tax in Ireland pp27-28)

Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was “simply inconceivable that both government and tax authorities did not notice this enormous jump tax in the write-off’s claimed by Apple and other MNC’s, following the 2007 tax ruling, and that they did not know that these write-offs were a massive exercise in tax dodging – shifting profits to companies registered in Ireland but liable to tax no-where in the world.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said, the only conclusion one can draw is that “both the government and the tax authorities knew exactly what Apple and others were doing and turned a blind eye to it or worse helped design the system of tax dodging in collusion with Apple.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said, it was clear from the figures that “Apple and other MNC’s were effectively allowed to write their own tax bills and shift as much profit as they wanted outside any tax net with the full knowledge of the authorities here – a privilege not allowed to ordinary taxpayer’s or business in the country.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett also pointed out that,  “contrary to repeated claims by the government that the double-Irish tax scam, which allowed Apple and others to evade taxes has not been abolished but will continue to operate until 2020, potentially allowing billions more to be evaded in corporate tax by Apple and others.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the government should “drop the appeal against the EU ruling, launch a major investigation into likely tax evasion by other MNC’s, and bring representatives of Apple, Google and Facebook into the Dail to face questions about their tax affairs in Ireland.”

Calls for government to drop appeal to European Commission

Calls for a investigation into all other multi-nationals that may have avoided paying the full rate of corporate tax in Ireland

Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit will today submit an Amendment to the Governments Apple motion.

The amendment condemns the governments decision to appeal the European Commission Apple ruling and lists a number of other demands such as the development of a plan to invest the back taxes owed by Apple into health, housing and education and also be used for major public investment in green energy and technology sectors, creating tens of thousands of jobs.

It calls for the government to waive confidentiality and publish the European Commissions ruling and notes that the so-called “double-Irish” has not been abolished, is only being phased out and is still there for still available for multi-nationals, including Apple to use to avoid paying billions in corporate tax.

The amendment also calls for an immediate investigation into the tax affairs of all other companies that may have avoided paying the full corporate tax rate using the same or similar mechanisms which Apple used and the recovery of all such unpaid tax. 

AAA-PBP TD Richard Boyd Barrett said “The purpose of our amendment is to try to get the government to drop their appeal against Apple paying back these billions in unpaid corporation tax. The 13 billion or so that could be collected would do amazing things for the people of this country. We have suggested in our amendment that the money should be collected and used to help end the housing crisis, fix the health system which is crumbling and invest in our education system. We also suggest that this money could be used to create tens of thousands of real jobs in the green energy and technology sectors for example.

“We do not accept all the efforts of the government and Fianna Fail to explain all this away with nonsense about the integrity of our tax system.

“The government and the tax authorities allowed Apple to set up paper companies here, which they must have known were liable for tax nowhere in the world and then shift a huge proportion of their profits to these companies on the grounds they were royalty payments. The tax rulings provided by Revenue essentially allowed Apple to hide their own tax bill each year.”

“The government and Revenue provided the window for Apple and almost certainly a select number of other multi-national companies jumped through that window taking tens of billions in the tax free profits with them.”

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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