By Declan Carey
BERNIE Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and leftist Democrats should pressure the Biden administration to demand Ireland change its lax tax policy, an Irish political activist has said.
The President-elect’s Irish roots have endeared him to many in the country already, with Biden quick to highlight concerns over the Irish border post-Brexit.
But Ireland has been labelled a tax haven by a number of financial analysts and agencies – something that progressive legislators in the US could work to change during Biden’s tenure, according to an activist from the RISE party in Ireland.
Cian Prendiville, a RISE member and joint editor of Rupture magazine, explained that pressure from the United States and the European Union could push the Irish Government to change its tax policy.
He told Redaction Politics: “This could be positive if it hammers home that this policy of being a tax haven, not only is it not good for ordinary people, but also it’s not a sustainable economic model.
“He [Joe Biden] has more emphasis on collaborating with capitalist countries, but he wants to collaborate with them in order to oppress the Middle East and build coalitions of the willing to wage war.
“I think what we need now is the movement around Bernie, the people around AOC, and the Democratic Socialists of America, to be building campaigns to pile the pressure on the Biden administration.
“We can’t just sit back and let Biden continue with normal neoliberal capitalism which will only fan the flames for Trumpism and lay the basis for an even worse monster down the road.”
Mr Prendiville also believes the US and Irish governments could find plenty to disagree on over the next few years, however.
He said: “The invasion of Iraq had a big impact on how ordinary Irish people saw America, hundreds of thousands of people came out onto the streets protesting against US foreign policy.
“The election of Trump also had a massive impact on how people in Ireland saw America and would have been disgusted by Trump who would have been majorly unpopular.
“With Biden’s victory, most Irish people will be happy with that and pay more time and respect to what the US Government is saying.
“I breathed a sigh of relief when Trump lost, but I would not have been rooting for Biden in the Democrat primaries, I would have supported Bernie.”
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RISE were formed by Dublin South-West Teachta Dála (Member of Parliament) Paul Murphy over a year ago to push for an eco-socialist revolution in Ireland.
The group have campaigned for free public transport, investment in transport infrastructure and a four-day working week.
A spokesperson for the Irish government said: “Ireland is not, and never has been, a tax haven by reference to the internationally-accepted definition that considers rate, secrecy and substance.
“It is also relevant that multi-national enterprises in Ireland employ 870,000 people. This sector contributes substantial tax revenues of over EUR20billion annually to the Exchequer to fund public services through corporation tax, income tax, USC, and PRSI.”