Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy welcomed the recent decision of the European Parliament to form a new special committee to examine the Paradise Papers revelations.
Carthy, a member of the Panama Papers inquiry committee which presented its final report and recommendations in December, said the new special committee would provide MEPs the opportunity to continue their work examining financial crime, corporate tax avoidance and tax evasion within the EU and internationally.
The Sinn Féin MEP led the mandate negotiations for the GUE/NGL group, and a draft mandate was recently agreed by political groups.
“I have been calling for a new special committee to examine the revelations in the Paradise Papers from offshore law firm Appleby since the leak, so this is a very welcome move by the European Parliament. Establishing a new special committee will allow MEPs to continue our work examining the nature of, and solutions to, tax avoidance, tax evasion and money-laundering in the EU and around the world.
“There are many Irish connections to the Paradise Papers, including revelations regarding the Irish government’s facilitation of ongoing massive tax avoidance by Apple, as well as regarding AIB, Denis O’Brien, Bono and others, which I will be urging the committee to examine.
“As well as continuing the work we carried out in the Panama Papers inquiry committee, which came to an end in December – and the previous special committees examining the LuxLeaks revelations – we will also be focusing on new emerging issues including tax avoidance and evasion in the digital economy.
“During negotiations I was successful in securing agreement from across the political spectrum that the new committee will also examine the consequences of bilateral tax treaties concluded by Member States. This is especially relevant given the Irish Government’s failure to end the use by multinationals of the so-called ‘Single Malt’ tax avoidance strategy, a replacement of the Double Irish, which is facilitated by some of our double taxation treaties.
“I also gained broad support for including examining the impact of tax avoidance by EU companies on developing countries, the use of VAT fraud revealed in the Paradise Papers – particularly in the Isle of Man – and the role of the United Nations as an important international actor in tackling these issues.
“The committee intends to put particular emphasis on examining the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies as notorious hubs for financial crime, secrecy and tax-dodging.”
Note to editors:
The draft mandate of the new special committee agreed by political groups at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents on Thursday 8 February is attached.
The exact name of the new special committee has not been decided.
The draft mandate will be adopted by MEPs at the next plenary session in Brussels on February 28.
The composition of the new special committee will then be voted on by MEPs at the plenary session in Strasbourg from March 16-19, and the constitutive session of the committee will also be held immediately after this vote.