Members of the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg this week accused EU member states of blocking a legislative proposal that would ensure corporate tax transparency for multinational companies in Europe.
The public Country-by-Country Reporting Directive has been blocked for over two years by several member states. It would require companies like Starbucks, Monsanto and McDonalds to declare publicly where they make their profit and pay their taxes, and whether they shift their profits to countries with very low tax rates.
The parliament approved the measure last year but it sits stalled in the Council of EU national governments. Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy is demanding to know whether Ireland is one of the countries blocking the measures in the Council. He says Dublin's argument that the legislation is an invasion of the country's tax sovereignty is a red hering.
Seperately, the European Commission last month proposed a special tax on digital companies which would be based on their number of users in Europe and go directly toward the EU budget. But Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy says such own-revenue-raising by the EU would set a dangerous precedent, and if such taxes are to be considered they should be national.
"...at an Irish-based level"