NI finance minister puts tax in spotlight

Northern Ireland finance minister Sammy Wilson has accused the Republic of Ireland (ROI) of 'stealing' tax revenue from the UK, in a comment that will add further pressure on the G8 summit to promote greater tax transparency.

Talking to the BBC's Sunday Politics programme, Wilson voiced concern that companies could be using the ROI to pay tax that should be paid in the UK.He said:

"My view is that the British government does have some leverage on the Irish government there, because they have a £7.5bn loan, that is a lot of leverage.

"[The UK] 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."

Speaking on the same programme, the ROI's junior finance minister Brian Hayes rejected the 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."

Prime Minister David Cameron is putting tax transparency at the heart of this week's G8 summit in County Fermanagh Northern Ireland, and is expected to call for a global reporting of where companies pay their tax.