Category Archives: Ireland

Union berates Bono for supporting tax breaks for multinational corporations

Henry McDonald reports for The Guardian:

‘Bono’s statement that Ireland’s “tax competitiveness has brought our country the only prosperity we’ve known” will be regarded with derision by Irish people suffering deprivation and poverty, one of the Republic’s largest unions has said.

Unite, which represents 100,000 workers on the island of Ireland, launched a blistering attack on the U2 singer for remarks in the Observer defending the 12.5% tax rate on corporations enjoyed by multinational companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

“We are a tiny little country, we don’t have scale, and our version of scale is to be innovative and to be clever, and tax competitiveness has brought our country the only prosperity we’ve known,” Bono said.’



Corrupt Irish politicians to be banned from office for a decade

Tom Brady reports for The Irish Independent:

‘Politicians and civil servants found guilty of corruption will be forced out of office and banned from returning to their posts for up to a decade.

Long-awaited legislation will expand prosecutors’ powers to bring public representatives to justice where there is a suggestion of corrupt acts.

A long series of tribunals and court cases has heard evidence of corruption in public life down the decades, but there have been hardly any convictions.’


Toll firms paid €28m to compensate for lack of traffic

Shane Phelan
 reports for The Irish Independent:

‘Private toll companies have been paid €28m by the State to compensate them for less-than-anticipated traffic on two motorways. The sum is a result of so-called “traffic guarantee” clauses inserted in the contracts for building the stretch of the M3 from Clonee to Kells and the N7 Limerick Tunnel.

The clauses mean the State pays more to the motorway operators when fewer cars or trucks use the roads. According to an internal Department of Transport briefing document, the guarantees were introduced to address the worst case scenario of “what if no cars drive on the road” and were needed to attract bidders for the public private partnerships… The traffic guarantees are set to remain in place until 2041.’


Dublin ‘could soon become Europe’s homeless capital’

From the Irish Examiner:

‘A homeless charity said it recorded the highest ever rough sleeper count on the streets of Dublin last night. Inner City Helping Homeless said 154 were sleeping rough on the city’s streets.  These numbers were recorded by four ICHH outreach teams covering both north and south inner areas last night. The group has called on the Government to take action to deal with the crisis.’


Former Anglo Irish directors face up to five years in jail

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic and Fiona Gartland report for The Irish Times:

Pat Whelan, former director of Anglo Irish Bank, and Willie McAteer, former director of finance, leave Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after yesterday’s guilty verdicts. Photograph: Eric LukeTwo former directors of Anglo Irish Bank face up to five years in prison after they were found guilty of providing illegal loans to 10 businessmen to buy shares in the bank in 2008. 

…The trial – the first to deal with events at Anglo, once Ireland’s third largest bank – lasted for 47 days and was the result of one of the biggest white-collar criminal investigations ever carried out here.

It was the first time anyone had been prosecuted under section 60 of the Companies Act, which prohibits a company giving financial assistance for the purchase of its own shares. Anglo’s former chairman Seán FitzPatrick was acquitted of all charges against him on Wednesday.


Unemployed told to leave Ireland in desperate move to slash welfare costs

From The Independent:

Ireland is asking its citizens to leave the country if they can’t find a job in a desperate bid to slash welfare costs.

The Irish government has sent letters to approximately 6,000 unemployed people suggesting they should take jobs in other European countries in an effort to reduce unemployment benefits, the Financial Times has reported.

Some of the jobs were poorly paid but came with a “Mediterranean” climate.

An unemployed electrician was encouraged to move to Coventry, while another jobseeker was offered work as a bus driver in Malta.

Dublin defended the move insisting that the positions are voluntary and no one is being forced to leave the country.


Ireland considers closing tax loopholes used by Apple and other tech companies

From The Verge:

Huge companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have come under fire in recent months for their practice of keeping large portions of their profits overseas in countries that are more tax-friendly — Apple alone has a $100 billion overseas cash hoard that isn’t subject to US taxes. As noted during Tim Cook’s testimony to the US Senate this spring, the UK, and Ireland in particular, have been particularly tax-friendly to Apple. The Ireland-based Apple Operations International (AOI) is a holding company that pays no income taxes in the US and a very low tax rate in Ireland — but that’s something that could change before long.

Ireland’s Department of Finance just released a report (PDF) detailing the country’s international tax strategy, and within it was a note about an potential change as part of Ireland’s 2014 Finance Bill. The country says that it will consider a “change to our company residence rules aimed at eliminating mismatches — that can exist between tax treaty partners in certain circumstances — being used to allow companies to be ‘stateless’ in terms of their place of tax residence.” As noted by The Street, this potential change could remove the favorable tax status Apple currently enjoys.

Of course, we’re a long way away from such a change going into effect — the Irish Independent says these rules won’t apply until January 2015. And that’s assuming that this proposal does indeed stay part of the 2014 Finance Bill. However, the company’s finance minister says the country will be trying to be part of the solution to the overseas tax issues that have cropped up recently. “Let me be crystal clear. Ireland wants to be part of the solution to this global tax challenge, not part of the problem,” Ireland Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.

How to Fight the Banks in Ireland: Interview with Ben Gilroy of the Direct Democracy Party


Ireland’s parliament approves ‘life-saving’ abortion ~ BBC

Supporters of access to terminations BBC News

Lawmakers in the Republic of Ireland have voted to legalise abortion under certain conditions for the first time.

The move, approved by a 127-31 vote in the lower house (Dáil), would authorise a termination when doctors deem that a woman is at risk of taking her life. It needs upper house endorsement, too.

The vote follows the case of an Indian woman who died in hospital after she was refused an abortion.

The debate revealed deep splits in the predominantly Catholic country.

Opponents say the bill could lead to more widespread abortion.


Irish people issue warning to banks by shutting down repossession auction

State begins witch-hunt to catch the Anglo Tape sources ~ Irish Independent

Irish Independent

Anglo Tapes expose took a bizarre twist last night as the Government launched the full forces of the State to find the whistle-blower.

The tapes, revealed in this newspaper, gave the public a rare insight into the attitudes of Anglo Irish Bank’s top executives in the midst of the crisis that cost Irish taxpayers €30bn.

Now the promised banking inquiry threatens to become a witch-hunt as the political focus shifted from establishing the inquiry to the leaking of the tapes to the Irish Independent and our sister title, the ‘Sunday Independent’.


Irish minister refuses to answer questions on Anglo Irish Bank fraud, attempts to grab camera