If your top political figures need to constantly state that your country is not a tax haven, then the chances are it probably is a tax haven. And as the UN’s Philip Aston says, ‘When lists of tax havens are drawn up, Ireland is always prominently among them’. Following their investigation into the tax affairs of Apple, Senators Carl Levin and John McCain similarly found that by any ‘common sense definition of a tax haven’ Ireland easily met the criteria. I mean when Forbes regularly ranks you in their list of ‘Top ten tax havens’, there’s not really much of a debate to be had.
Here in Ireland there’s no debate to be had, well certainly not one of any genuine substance, largely because our mainstream media considers it a relatively taboo subject. With both our public and privately owned media organisations reflecting the kind of political establishment and corporate opinion that’s heavily invested in the tax haven strategy, its little wonder that much of the Irish public is unaccustomed to the notion that we’re a tax haven, despite the broad international consensus.