Tax injustice: Giving with One Hand and Taking with the Other

16 Dec 2013

Issued by: Debt and Development Coalition Ireland and Christian Aid Ireland
Embargoed until 00.01 Monday 16th December

'Giving with one hand and taking with the other': Campaigners urge European leaders to take action against tax dodging

European leaders must use the meeting of the European Council this week to agree action against tax dodging by multinationals, campaigners urge in a new report.

The new pan-European report, 'Giving with one hand and taking with the other: Europe's role in tax-related capital flight from developing countries 2013', reveals that governments have failed to tackle international tax injustice across 13 EU countries. The report highlights that each year tax dodging costs Europe €1 trillion, and developing counties between €660 and €870 billion.

Nessa Ní Chasaide of Debt and Development Coalition Ireland said, "This report shows that Ireland is part of the problem of global tax injustice, rather than part of the solution. As the European Council meets this week, we urge Ireland, along with all EU member states, to ensure companies reveal to the public who their owners are and report fully on their tax payments and profits in each country where they operate."

Worryingly, despite the disproportionate impact of tax injustice on developing countries, the report reveals that none of the EU member states surveyed support the equal inclusion of developing countries in policy making on tax transparency through the United Nations, rather, they support the developed country dominated OECD as the policy setting body.

Sorley McCaughey from Christian Aid Ireland added, "The Irish Government's failure to take adequate steps to ensure multinational companies pay their fair share of tax is costing developing countries billions of euro each year, far more than they receive in aid. We call on the Irish Government to support urgently needed global measures to compel greater tax transparency from companies and individuals and to ensure that developing countries are included in setting new global tax rules."

The report finds that, of the 13 governments surveyed:
· All governments are failing to demand adequate tax transparency from companies, as no government has implemented full country-by-country financial reporting.
- Most governments are reluctant to let members of the public know who really owns the companies, trusts and foundations within their jurisdictions.
- Data showing governments' exchange of tax-related information is rarely publicly accessible and countries in the global South are barely participating in this form of exchange, which could help them identify tax evaders.
- No governments support equal inclusion of developing countries in policy making on tax and transparency.

The European Council meets on 19th and 20th December.

A summary of the report can be found here.

- Ends-

For more information or to request an interview please contact
Nessa Ní Chasaide, Debt and Development Coalition Ireland: +353 1 6174835, +353 87 7507001
Sorley McCaughey, Christian Aid Ireland: + 353 1 6110801, +353 87 0620062

· Debt and Development Coalition Ireland is a membership based network campaigning for global financial justice. For more information see:
- Christian Aid's core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended. For more information see:
- Eurodad (the European Network on Debt and Development) is a network of 48 non-governmental organisations from 19 European countries working on issues related to debt, development finance and poverty reduction. For more information see
- The 13 governments surveyed in this report are Ireland, the UK, Slovenia, Hungary, Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg.