Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister has sparked a cross border war of warns after claiming the Republic ‘steals’ UK revenue via American corporations like Google and Apple.
Unionist politician and former Lord Mayor of Belfast Sammy Wilson made the comments on the eve of the G8 summit.
His comments were immediately rebuffed by the Dublin government, currently trying to allay US senate fears that Ireland acts as a tax haven for American corporations.
The Democratic Unionist politicians said he is concerned that companies are using the Republic to pay tax which he alleged should be paid in the UK.
Wilson said: “My view is that the British government does have some leverage on the Irish Government there, because they have a £7.5 billion loan, that is a lot of leverage.
“They should be saying to the government in the Republic, you cannot steal tax revenue from us in this way and that is in fact what has been happening.”
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has put tax and transparency at the heart of the agenda for the G8 summit and has requested country-by-country reporting of where companies pay their tax.
The Irish Times reports that Ireland’s Minister of State for Public Service Reform Brian Hayes has emphatically denied Wilson’s claims.
Hayes also rejected the American claims that Ireland is a tax haven.
He said: “It is wrong and it is put out there by countries I suspect who are looking to the success we are making of this country in terms of inward investment.
“The fact of the matter is this, it is not Irish tax law that is at stake here, it is other jurisdictions with their tax law.”