Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has called for the European Parliament to establish an inquiry into the Paradise Papers revelations.
Over the past year Carthy has been a member of the Panama Papers inquiry committee examining the Mossack Fonseca leak. The Parliament is due to adopt the committee’s final report next month.
Addressing the Parliament in Strasbourg this morning, Carthy said:
“Yet again a major leak has revealed the secrets of the ultra-rich, who are stashing their wealth in tax havens around the world beyond the reach of public scrutiny and tax collectors.
“Experts believe that around the world, governments are losing 500 billion US dollars every single year as a result of tax avoidance by multinational corporations. Another 200 billion dollars a year in tax is being dodged by super-rich individuals – people like our very own Bono and Denis O’Brien.
“This is not a victimless crime. Every dollar, euro or pound that is hidden offshore is one that should be available instead for governments to spend on hospitals, schools and vital public services.
“The Paradise Papers, like the Panama Papers before them, confirm that this offshore scam is not a rare exception but a systemic problem. How many more Appleby’s and Mossack Fonseca’s are there?
“Here in the European Parliament, we have been examining the Panama Papers leak as part of an inquiry committee over the past year, looking at the ways in which these revelations may have breached the law of the EU or of its member states.
“I am calling for a similar special committee to be established in the European Parliament to examine the revelations in the Paradise Papers. Issues of corporate tax avoidance and evasion are so prevalent that we need a permanent committee for investigations.
“I am also calling for the United Nations to urgently convene a global summit in response to the latest revelations in the Paradise Papers in order to deal decisively, and at a global level, with the problem of tax avoidance, tax evasion and money-laundering by multinational corporations and the world’s wealthiest individuals.”