Barnardos: Child Poverty Soars as Wealthy Avoid Paying Tax
The Paradise Papers leak reveals that against a backdrop of child poverty in Ireland soaring over the last decade, many wealthy Irish individuals and institutions have been using off shore accounts to avoid paying tax.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said: “The prevalence of tax avoidance in Ireland has directly contributed to the rise in child poverty over the last decade. There are around 56,000 more children living in poverty now than in 2007. The shortfall in tax revenue has increased the severity of austerity cutbacks and shoved the burden onto those who can least afford to pay.
“Over the last decade the number of children living in poverty has increased from 76,000 in 2007 to 132,000 in 2015. There has been a 400% increase in child homelessness since 2014. During this time millions of euro have been initially moved offshore.”
The lost tax revenue could make a massive difference to the lives of Irish children. For example, €103 million could give all primary children free education, €54 million could fund the roll out of early intervention staff to reduce waiting lists, or €20 million could adjust housing benefit rates and prevent family homelessness.
“The Government has been quick to clamp down on social welfare fraud; but seems less keen to tackle those who take billions of euros out of our tax net. The real losers of tax avoidance are Irish children whose futures are being sacrificed.”