11 October 2016 - Christian Aid today criticised the government’s continued reluctance to introduce the highest levels of transparency around shell companies that featured so heavily in the Panama Papers scandal.
'Minister Noonan has opted to deal with issues raised by Panama in a very complicated and unproven way. Choosing to do away with the possibility of allowing those who may feel they have engaged in some kind of dodgy avoidance scheme to come clean and avail of lesser penalties, puts much greater pressure on the Revenue Authority to identify and catch people engaged in these kinds of things.
'Even with additional resources, Revenue will have difficulty in identifying schemes that are by their very nature, complex and multi-layered', said Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy and Policy at Christian Aid Ireland.
'We have long said that the most effective way of dealing with issues raised by Panama is increased transparency through the establishment of publicly accessible registers of the names of the true flesh and blood owners of these shell companies,' he continued.
The charity did though welcome the inclusion of developing country concerns as part of TOR for review of Irish corporation tax policy.
'Christian Aid welcomes the reference to identifying possible benefits to developing countries of increasing global tax transparency in the terms of reference for the independent review of Irish corporation tax policy.
'We remain ready and willing to assist the consultant in ensuring the specific concerns of developing countries are addressed'.
For interviews please contact Sorley McCaughey on email@example.com or call (+353) 0870620062, or Barry Turley on (0044) 7734 256318.
Notes to editors:
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