A new special committee is to be set up by the European Parliament looking into the fallout of the ‘Paradise Papers’ scandal.

Comprised of 45 MEPs, its mandate will last for 12 months and its aims to investigate financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance – carrying on the work set out by the disbanded TAXE 1, TAXE 2 and ‘Panama Papers’ special committees.

In addition, revelations from the ‘Paradise Papers’ that include VAT avoidance, evasion, fraud will also be on the agenda. Furthermore, there will be analysis of the impact on developing countries and a special focus on British Crown dependencies and Overseas Territories.

GUE/NGL will have six members on the committee – the full composition of which will be voted on during the March plenary session. Negotiating on behalf of the group in Strasbourg this week was Ireland’s Matt Carthy, and afterwards he said:

“GUE/NGL has been calling for a new special committee to examine the revelations in the ‘Paradise Papers’ from offshore law firm Appleby since the leak, so this is a very welcome move by the European Parliament.”

“During negotiations our group was successful in securing agreement from across the political spectrum that the new committee will also examine the consequences of bilateral tax treaties concluded by member states. This is especially relevant given the Irish government’s failure to end the use by multinationals of the so-called ‘Single Malt’ tax avoidance strategy, a replacement of the Double Irish, which is facilitated by some of our double taxation treaties,” he added.

“We also gained broad support for examining the impact of tax avoidance by EU companies on developing countries, the use of VAT fraud revealed in the ‘Paradise Papers’ – particularly in the Isle of Man – and the role of the United Nations as an important international actor in tackling these issues.”

“The committee intends to put particular emphasis on the British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies as notorious hubs for financial crime, secrecy and tax-dodging,” added the Irish MEP.

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