Building at University of LImerick

Seminar considers Ireland’s inconsistent approach to policy-making

Limerick conference considers Ireland’s inconsistent approach to policy-making ahead of a Dáil debate on a Ghana tax deal that will deprive the African country of cash it needs for health

Vincent Browne will chair a conference in Limerick tomorrow examining Ireland’s sometimes contradictory approach to policy-making - just days before TDs debate a new tax treaty with Ghana which will deprive the African country of revenue it needs for its own development.

The Ghana-Ireland tax treaty, cited by conference organisers as the latest example of Ireland’s incoherent approach to policy-making, is due to be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday 3 October. Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Christian Aid was speaking as he prepared to address the Limerick conference:

“Ireland’s new tax treaty will deprive Ghana of taxing rights that are vital to reducing aid dependency. Ghana is an Irish Aid recipient which means that Ireland is giving with one hand and taking away with the other. Next week, TDs will be asking why Ireland has negotiated a tax treaty which requires one of its aid recipients to sacrifice significant taxing rights - revenue that could be spent on health - while 1 in 20 of its children die before reaching their 5th birthday.”

Mr McCaughey said that the incoherence didn’t end there:

“Last year, before signing the Ghana tax treaty, Ireland committed to including measures to guard against tax evasion in all its tax treaties. Despite this, the Ghana tax treaty contains none of these measures. Next week, TDs will be asking Minister D’Arcy to explain this turnaround.”

Grainne Kilcullen, Christian Aid’s Governance Advisor, said that the Ghana tax treaty was only the most recent example of incoherent policy-making by Government:

“We see the same incoherence with climate change: the worst effects of climate change will be felt in the poorest countries. But Ireland’s sky-high carbon emissions threaten to undermine its excellent record on overseas aid and development.”

Ms Kilcullen concluded:

“Contradictions such as these will be the subject of debate in Limerick tomorrow and in the Dáil next week. Our conference will examine how academics and NGOs can ensure that Government adopts a more joined-up approach to policy-making.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The conference takes places tomorrow, Friday 28 September 2018 at the University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School between 10.00 and 13.15 and will be chaired by Vincent Browne. Speakers are drawn from Christian Aid, the university world, and senior officials from Irish Aid and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.