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STANDING COMMISSION ON TAXATION NEEDED

16 February 2017

Statement by Joan Burton TD
Finance, Education and Skills, and Arts

Commenting on the Government's conference today 'Corporate Tax: Fairness, Responsibility and Leadership', Labour Party spokesperson on Finance, Joan Burton, has repeated her call for an independent standing commission on tax.

Deputy Burton said:

"Since the Apple judgement, I have been calling for the establishment of an independent standing commission on taxation, to review trends in our tax laws against agreed principles of tax justice, and to identify anomalies as they arise.

"Today the Taoiseach hosted a talking shop in Dublin Castle with no clear policy announcements. Instead the Minister for Finance has said that there will be a public consultation into a Review of the corporation tax code which Seamus Coffey is undertaking as an independent expert.

"A one-off review may come up with short-term solutions. But it will never be able to keep ahead of the corporate law firms and accountancy advisors, who will always seek to exploit new loopholes in our tax code.

"Only a standing commission can ensure that the state keeps up with all such developments, and will keep the Irish tax code focussed against overly aggressive tax planning and avoidance.

"As long as we have have Finance Bills, we will have tax lawyers and accountants who try to find loopholes and ways to avoid paying tax.

"A standing committee would be a clear message that we will not tolerate tax avoidance."