Irish Government accused over tax

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Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has accused the Irish government of “stealing” UK tax revenue.

The Democratic Unionist said he was concerned that companies were using the Republic of Ireland to pay tax which he alleged should be paid in the UK.

The Irish government has defended its tax laws.

Mr 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,” he told the BBC.

“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.”

David Cameron has put tax and transparency at the heart of next week’s G8 agenda and wants the meeting to include country-by-country reporting of where companies pay their tax.

Irish junior finance minister Brian Hayes rejected claims Ireland was a tax haven.

“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,” he said.

“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.”