Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
95. Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for Finance his approach to the treatment of tax havens; his views on reports that the Obama administration in the US may introduce fiscal measures which could have a detrimental effect on the Exchequer position here and employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18961/09]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): I am sure that the Deputy will appreciate that it is important to make a distinction between action against tax havens and the proposed changes to the system of tax deferral announced by the US Administration last week.
Ireland is not a tax haven. It is not included among the OECD list of tax havens; was not included in a recent G20 summit list of tax havens and in fact during the recent Saint Patrick Day celebrations, President Obama assured the Taoiseach that the US did not regard Ireland as a tax haven.
On 4th May last the US Administration announced proposed changes to the so called system of tax deferral. The announcement of these changes, which had been flagged by the Obama Administration, represents the beginning of a process that will involve detailed discussion and debate in both Houses of Congress.
The US Administration has signalled very clearly that they are very conscious of the need to maintain the competitiveness of US companies operating globally and in that context the Government will continue to engage with both the US Administration and with Congress as the debate develops.
The Government and I attach the highest importance to strengthening the economic partnership between our two countries, a partnership that has contributed enormously to the very significant trade and investment between the two countries. We have a common interest with the US Administration in keeping strong that partnership that has served us well up to now.
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