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Appleby - ‘a system designed to entrench wealth and privilege in the hands of a few’

5 November 2017 - Christian Aid described the Appleby revelations as yet further evidence of a rotten system, one designed to entrench wealth and privilege in the hands of a few.

'Once again we see a rotten system exposed, one deliberately created by the most powerful, at the expense of vast majority of citizens around the world', said Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy and Policy at Christian Aid Ireland. 

'This, surely, has to signal the end of financial secrecy. This is not the first leak of this nature and it won’t be the last. It is clear that transparency is now inevitable. Whether by design or by leakage, nobody can expect to keep the details of their tax affairs secret anymore. The message has to be that "if you are not comfortable with it being public, then don’t do it"', said McCaughey.

The charity called on the Irish government to introduce publicly accessible registers holding the true flesh and blood owners of companies.

'It’s difficult to work out how many more leaks need to  happen before the Irish government appreciate the benefits of having registers publicly available. If nothing else, these leaks show once again the vital role that civil society, the media and citizens have to play in exposing this kind of anti-social behaviour. It’s a crucial form of much needed accountability,' said McCaughey.

Ireland recently signed up to introducing a register for the beneficial owners of companies, as part of the EU anti-money laundering directive, but are not willing to make this register publicly accessible. 

The charity, who have been campaigning om issues of financial transparency since 2007, also pointed to the impact these latest revelations have on poorer countries.

'It’s important to remember also that while certain individuals and companies may get the headlines, it is poor countries that are the most vulnerable to the type of activity revealed by these leaks', McCaughey continued.

'The impact of tax evasion and avoidance in poorer countries can be far harsher. Evan a few million dollars, let alone the billions that seem to be involved, can make the difference between life and death, and the lack of government funds for investment holds back economic development and maintains the dependency on aid', said McCaughey.        



For media inquiries contact:

Sorley McCaughey , telephone 00353 (0)87 062 0062


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 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. 

  3. Follow Christian Aid Ireland on Twitter @christianaidirl

  4. For more information about the work of Christian Aid Ireland visit www.christianaid.ie

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