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State body with responsibility for corporate tax transparency critical to restoring Ireland's reputation after Apple tax scandal, says Christian Aid Ireland ahead of today's Government tax conference.

16 February 2017 - Sorley McCaughey of Christian Aid Ireland, is the only NGO speaker at the conference, Corporate Tax: Fairness, Responsibility and Leadership, that is being held in Dublin today (16 February 2017) and is available for comment.

A state body with responsibility for tax transparency is critically needed to restore Ireland’s reputation after the Apple scandal, Christian Aid Ireland has said at today’s conference, Corporate Tax: Fairness, Responsibility and Leadership, which is being held by the Department of An Taoiseach in Dublin Castle. 

Sorley McCaughey, Christian Aid’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, will speak on a panel about Perspectives on Fairness and Responsibility(11.30).

Sorley McCaughey said: 'Ireland is suffering ongoing reputational damage as a result of our corporate tax policy. To address this, the Government must appoint a body, such as the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), with responsibility for issues around corporate taxation, transparency and fairness, as a matter of urgency.

'The body should be multi-stakeholder, drawing together representatives from a broad base of sectors, have the capacity to conduct its own research and have a central role in advising the government on corporate tax issues. The National Economic and Social Council provides a model that could be replicated or built on. 
'The current €13 billion question over Apple’s tax bill would not have reached this stage had a transparent corporate tax structure and system been in place.'

Christian Aid Ireland has led the tax justice movement in Ireland since 2008. The organisation worked closely with Minister Katherine Zappone on tax justice after the fallout of the Apple tax ruling.

Sorley McCaughey continued: 'This conference is an opportunity for the government to start an important conversation around the need to protect Ireland’s reputation as a champion of human rights and international development, while retaining Irish competitiveness internationally. 
'Within the current context, there are many ways that Ireland can demonstrate its credentials as a country committed to transparency at the highest levels. 
'It can insist on greater transparency of the reporting of international multinationals based in Ireland. We’re also encouraging companies and the Government to view taxation as an investment in local communities and not a cost to be erased to zero. By adhering to ethical and just tax models, companies can help to build local markets with consumer power and contribute to the social services that allow communities and their workers to thrive. 
'Too often debates around Ireland’s tax policy are reduced to arguments between those in favour of maintaining 12.5% and those who would like to raise it. Obviously, there is a need for Ireland to engage more extensively with a variety of views and perspectives to plot a future that doesn't rely exclusively on lower and lower tax rates to attract US multinationals at the expense of other possibly much poorer countries. 
'We warmly welcome this conference and hope that it begins a national process towards a corporate tax system that is built on just foundations.'

The conference, Corporate Tax: Fairness, Responsibility and Leadership, which is being held by the Department of An Taoiseach, is taking place today, Thursday 16th February 2017, in The Printworks Conference Centre, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2 from 9.15am to 3.30pm. 


**Sorley McCaughey is available for comment. Please call Meabh Smith on 0872068483 to arrange an interview**

Please follow and use #FairTax2017 on Twitter.


For media queries contact:

Meabh Smith
Head of Communications
Christian Aid Ireland

Email: mjsmith@christian-aid.org

Additional Notes:
  1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

  2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, and sustainably. Our strategy document ‘From Inspiration to Impact’ outlines how we set about this task.

  3. Christian Aid Ireland, with the support of Irish Aid, funds partners in Colombia working on peace building, human rights and accountability.

  4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

  5. Follow Christian Aid Ireland on Twitter: twitter.com/christianaidirl

  6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie

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