Category: Finance


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

GOVERNMENT ATTITUDE TO APPLE TAX RULING PROVES THERE’S ONE LAW FOR THE CORPORATIONS AND ANOTHER FOR ORDINARY CITIZENS.
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.”

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People Before Profit TD  calls for the restoration of all social welfare cuts as priority for Minister for Social Protection 
 
Reverse the discriminatory u26 Jobseekers rate
 
Brid-Smith-2a-241x300People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has called on the government and Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, to reverse all social welfare cuts and restore them to 2007 levels. Deputy Smith also called for the government to end the discriminatory u26s Jobseekers rate.
Recently, Minster Varadkar has put forward the idea of increasing social welfare payments to those with more PRSI contributions. People Before Profit believe that what should be done before this is the reversal of the cuts to social welfare that have inflicted massive damage on local communities. The lower rate of Jobseekers for people under the age of 26 is a matter that has to be urgently addressed by the Minister.

Currently people under the age of 26 receive a lower Jobseekers Allowance payment than that of people over the age of 25. People aged 26 and over on Jobseekers receive €188, whereas people ages 25 earn €144 and persons aged 18-24 earn €100 a week.

Deputy Smith said “for the best part of the last eight years successive governments have been using the excuse of the financial crisis in order to slash social welfare payments. Critically though they have targeted the youth. Young people who are looking to avail of Jobseekers are penalised because of their age.
“The government, in not reversing the cuts to social welfare and specifically age based discrimination in the Jobseekers payment, are demonstrating their contempt for young people.
“The government must now reverse the discrimination manifested in their policies towards young people, specifically in the Jobseekers Benefit payment, and restore the cuts to social welfare which are a net to prevent people falling into poverty.”

People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, has stated that the governments apparent view of people availing of social welfare is elitist and snobbish.

Gino Kenny election posterThis claim comes in a response to a parliamentary question, tabled by Deputy Kenny, asking if the Minister for Social Protection would reverse the lower Social Protection payment received by under 26s. Currently the maximum entitlement for someone aged 25 or younger is €144. This is compared to a maximum rare for those 26 and over as €188. People Before Profit view this as blatant discrimination based on age.

Deputy Kenny cited the language used by the Minister in the reply to the question as ‘elitist’ and ‘very concerning as it highlights how this government views those on welfare and under the age of 26’.

In the Ministers answer it says ‘To guard against welfare dependency I believe it is necessary to provide young jobseekers with a strong financial incentive to engage in education or training or to take up employment’.

Responding to this answer Deputy Kenny said: “This answer provides a clear insight as to how this government views young people who have to avail of social welfare. It is clear from the elitist snobbery provided in the form of an answer to my question that Minister Varadkar looks down on people on social welfare. Let’s be clear, people want to work. The economic saboteurs like the banks and bondholders that this government and those of the past have prioritised over ordinary people are the people that have removed the jobs that can support basic living standards in this country.

“The insinuation of the Ministers answer is that these people have to be forced to ‘get off’ social welfare as if social supports were like a drug. The Minister clearly assumes that people want to be on social welfare. This is of course contrary to evidence based research. For example, when the CE schemes were available lone parents took up these roles. When these schemes were taken away, along with changes to the one parent family payment, lone parent employment went down from 60% to 36%.

“Seeing as Ireland ranks just above the US in terms of social welfare benefits and we are one of the lowest rates in Europe I would ask the Minister again to reverse the discriminatory reduced rate on social welfare benefits received by under 26s.”

Ireland- No country for young people

Government figures on unemployment not consistent with reality

Jobsbridge and labour activation schemes have to go; work must pay

People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, has said in a statement that the governments figures for unemployment of 8.6% are illusory and not consistent with the facts on the ground.

According to the CSO the youth unemployment rate was 19% in January 2016.

Deputy Kenny also alluded to the issues that contribute to this figure- mass emigration, labour activation schemes and the casualisation of work is driving our youth from this country. There is blatant discrimination against the youth of this country in the form of the reduced job seekers allowance.

Deputy Kenny said “Ireland is no country for young people. Young people feel that there is no hope and no future for them in Ireland.  The youth in this country have been brutally affected by the austerity policies of the last government. The Fine Gael/Labour government, when taking office, promised a democratic revolution. They did the exact opposite, they sold the out the youth of our nation.

Deputy Kenny pointed to the issues facing young people in this country. “Mass emigration, 35,000 people per year; the cost of rents, college fees and the cost of living and precarious work are draining Ireland of our youth.

Deputy Kenny said “the reduced job seekers for under 25s is discriminatory. It makes the assumption that people under the age of 25 need less money for food, rent and other living expenses.

We have been told time and time again that we are in recovery. This is not true if you are a newly quailed nurse or a new teacher. 95% of newly qualified nurses choose to leave Ireland once they are qualified, this is unacceptable.”

Deputy Kenny pointed to the disaster that is Jobsbridge. “Jobsbridge is a scam which has been exposed. Companies using Jobsbridge have been taking on essentially free labour instead of hiring people and paying them a wage. These interns do the exact same work as regular employees. This is an attack on young people and worker’s rights which have been hard won over years of struggle.

We have seen in the Irish Examiner today that some of these interns have been bullied and verbally abused in their internships. I think the Department of Social Protection should release the names of these companies. Employers like these are the exact same as Transdev who are behaving disgracefully in regards to the striking Luas workers. They are bullies who knowingly exploit workers.

What should be done is that Jobsbridge should be abolished. Young workers should be given work that pays properly. This would be a good thing for the country because people with more disposable income will spend that money in the local economy.”

Bríd Smith appeals to Dankse Bank not to off load SME loan portfolio’s to bad debt agencies.

Brid-Smith - CopyIn an article published  in the Local News in Dublin South Central, People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has warned that a plan by Dankse Bank to sell a portfolio of loans chiefly concerning Small and Medium Enterprises could have devastating effects for both individual firms involved and the wider economy.

The Dáil deputy has been contacted by a number of concerned SMEs who believe the giant bank is set to offload distressed loans in a portfolio to a number of bad debt agencies at a large discount. It is understood that this will result in immediate pressure on many struggling firms and could see businesses close with significant job losses.

Deputy Bríd Smith stated “I would fear that Dankse Bank’s move could have a profound impact on many of these small firms and would appeal to them to hold off any “fire sale”. We have seen what can happen in other areas where loan portfolios are sold and the pressure is for an immediate return to the new owners of the loans; foreclosures and home repossessions are happening as a result.”

“My information suggests that Dankse Bank is seeking to sell these loans to what are essentially bad debt agencies who will have no interests in helping small local firms survive.”

The Bank previously sold SME portfolios to both Bank of Ireland and Goldman Sachs.

Deputy Smith is concerned that other banks may follow suit; “There is an urgent need for the Minister for Finance to step in and seriously consider a mechanism where the State could acquire these loans with a view to insuring that these firms do not face the kind of pressure that will see businesses fail and jobs lost”.

The People Before Profit TD has organised a meeting on Friday 22 April in Buswells Hotel where representatives of a number of the SMEs will voice their concern and Deputy Smith will launch a campaign against the planned sell off.  

People Before Profit launch Decent Jobs: Employment and Labour Rights Manifesto

State must play a role in creating jobs

pbp employment doc

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People Before Profit held a press conference this morning launching their Decent Jobs: Employment and Labour Rights Manifesto. Attending the launch were Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Cllr Bríd Smith and Cllr John Lyons.

Richard Boyd Barrett said- “The current government are claiming that there is a recovery underway. What they are conveniently forgetting is the deterioration of wages and conditions of workers and the neutering of union representation since the Celtic Tiger. Under the guise of competitiveness we are seeing a race to the bottom. This is making life unaffordable for workers through the cost of accommodation and regressive charges like property tax and water charges.

“Many workers in Ireland today find themselves in precarious and low paid jobs. New teachers for example spend an average of seven years on insecure contracts before being made permanent. There is also policy, directly endorsed by the government, of age discrimination. New entrants to the public sector are paid less than those starting before January 2011.

“We have also seen Ireland become one of the standard bearers of low wage economies. In 2014 the OECD reported Ireland as having the second highest level of low-paying jobs; second only to the US.

“People Before Profit propose a different vision for our economy and our workers. Increased pay is what is needed for workers which in turn will boost the economy.

“We believe in strong unions that are based on empowering the grassroots. The political control of unions like SIPTU by the Labour Party must end. We have proposed a number of measures that we feel will empower the unions to make effective representation for their members.

“We feel that a fairer recovery is possible. The recovery that is being boasted about by the current government is not being felt by the vast majority of our population. A recovery based on low wages, the casualisation of labour, precarious contracts and substandard conditions is not a real recovery. We are campaigning for a recovery for the 99%- those who got sold out by this government and the previous Fianna Fail-Green Party government. We are calling and end to the exploitative JobsBridge scheme and other similar models which make young people work for free with no guarantee of a job at the end of it. We believe that work must pay.”
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