Kenny in Davos is an insult to the poor, homeless and struggling but says it all about the obscene inequality in Ireland and globally, says PBP TD

The Taoiseach hangs out with billionaire corporate tax dodgers in luxury Swiss resort, while the homeless and hospital patients suffer for lack of funding.

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance and member of the Dail Finance committee, has hit out at Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s presence at the Davos World Economic Forum, saying it symbolised everything that was wrong with the government’s priorities and the deep economic and social inequality in Ireland and globally.

Deputy Boyd Barrett described it as in “insult to the poor, the homeless and the suffering” that the Taoiseach would spend today with the billionaire CEO’s of multinational companies whose tax dodging strategies were robbing governments of hundreds of billions in revenues needed to fund public housing, health services, education and vital infrastructure.

Deputy Boyd Barrett will raise the issue of Davos and wealth inequality when he speaks on TTIP in the Dail this afternoon.

Richard Boyd Barrett said:

“It really says everything about the misguided priorities of the Irish government that our Taoiseach will spend today sucking up to the billionaire bosses whose tax dodging strategies lie at the heart of ever deepening global poverty and inequality.

It is precisely because these companies do everything in their  power to avoid paying their fair share of tax that we have chronic and unnecessary poverty, homelessness and suffering in Ireland and elsewhere across the world.

The Davos forum is not a meeting of any official body – rather it is the gathering point of the world’s self-appointed elite, whose obscene wealth seals the grim fate of the poor and the struggling in this country and globally.

The priority Enda Kenny puts on schmoozing with these corporate oligarch’s fully explains the otherwise inexplicable fact that the Irish government does not want the estimated €19 billion in unpaid taxes that may be owed by Apple. It is simply staggering that our government does not want €19 billion in tax when this money could solve so many of the problems our country now faces but no doubt Enda will get a lot of praise for this stance from his billionaire buddies in Davos.

If we had a government that simply had the courage and principles to make these corporations actually pay the 12.5% on their real profits – it would generate an extra four billion a year in extra tax revenue. With that money we could actually establish the public housing programme we need to end the housing crisis, employ the staff and re-open the beds we need in our hospitals and invest in the education of our young people.

Enda Kenny thinks economic recovery is when the billionaires slap him on the back and tell him he is doing a great job. In fact, a recovery for ordinary people is when they have a secure and affordable roof over their head, don’t have to fear going to hospital and have properly funded public services. That won’t happen until the masters of the universe in Davos start paying their taxes.”