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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 30 Jan 2018

Vol. 964 No. 4

Priority Questions

Motor Insurance Claims

Michael McGrath


68. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his plans to intervene to ensure that 100% of the cost of all outstanding claims arising from the collapse of a company (details supplied) are fully met and that former policyholders of the company are not held personally liable for claims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4525/18]

This question relates to Setanta Insurance, and ensuring that 100% of the costs of outstanding claims are met. I welcome today's announcement by Government. It has taken far longer than it should, but I think that those who are caught up in the nightmare will now want to know when 100% of the costs of the outstanding claims will be settled, because that is the key issue. This has been a debacle running over four years now, and I hope it does not continue for much longer.

Setanta Insurance was placed into liquidation by the Malta Financial Services Authority on 30 April 2014. As it was a Maltese incorporated company, the liquidation is being carried out under Maltese law.

As the Deputy is aware, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment on 25 May 2017 and overturned the previous decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal that the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland, MIBI, was liable in respect of third-party motor insurance claims made against the policyholders of Setanta Insurance. The consequence of this is that the Insurance Compensation Fund, ICF, has been deemed responsible for the payment of such third-party claims subject to a limit of 65% or €825,000, whichever is the lesser, due to relevant claimants.

As the Minister for Finance, Deputy Paschal Donohoe, has previously indicated, there was a legal concern that any Government intervention to compensate third-party claimants over and above the 65% limit and then "step into the shoes" of these claimants to recover directly any balance due from the Setanta liquidation could result in the State having a lower status in the creditor hierarchy, and thus significantly reduce the amount it could recoup from the liquidator.

As indicated in recent parliamentary questions on this matter, the Department of Finance sought and received advice on this matter from a Maltese law firm which the Attorney General subsequently reviewed. This advice confirmed our original concern that the State would have a lower status in the creditor hierarchy and therefore could jeopardise its ability to recover any payments it made to third-party claimants. However, on the basis that the Department has established from the liquidators that the third-party claimants make up by far the largest percentage of creditors, the impact on the State’s ability to recover what would otherwise have been paid to these claimants is significantly less than anticipated.

As the Deputy is aware, the Government has decided to address the uncertainty this case has highlighted around compensation arrangements for third-party motor claimants in the event of any future insolvency of a motor insurer.  In this regard, it has been decided that coverage of the ICF should be increased from 65% to 100% for personal injuries, and to €1,225,000 per claim for property, in order to bring it into line with the compensation levels paid out by the MIBI.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House

The increased coverage of the ICF will be funded by a direct contribution to the ICF from the motor insurance industry via the MIBI to the value of 35% of the third-party motor insurance claims. The Department is currently working with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, OPC, and other relevant stakeholders to progress the drafting of the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2017 to implement these changes.

As a result of his consideration of this matter, the Minister for Finance has made a decision in principle that the State should step in to pay the balance of 35% to Setanta third-party claimants. This will most likely be done through the Insurance Compensation Fund.  However, the Deputy should note that while the Department is of the view that there are no legal or competitive issues associated with this decision, it is currently exploring the matter with the Office of the Attorney General. Depending on the outcome of those discussions, legislation may be required to facilitate this payment. This is likely to be done through the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2017.

Finally, while the Government hopes that this will bring the matter to a close, it is important to note that before the State can step in to pay the 35% balance of any individual case, the claim itself has first to be settled between the liquidator and the claimant. As I hope the Deputy will appreciate, this is a matter completely outside the Government's control.

I welcome today's announcement, and I acknowledge the work that the Minister of State has put into it. As he will know, it is an issue that my party and I have been raising for the last number of years. Those who are caught up in the Setanta mess will want to know when they will get the final payments and when 100% of the cost of claims will be met. I know that under existing legislation, the Insurance Compensation Fund can only go to the High Court every six months. I understand that the next tranche is likely to be brought next month, so any payment that is not included there is not going to happen until August. The courts probably do not sit in August. The question is, when does the Minister of State expect that all the claimants will have their claims fully met? The wider point is that while we welcome the heads of a Bill, all motor insurance policyholders in the country are still facing the prospect of there being another Setanta. If there is a collapse, there is still no statutory basis for 100% of their claims to be covered.

I will take the last point first. As Deputy McGrath knows, the Insurance (Amendment Bill) 2017 is awaiting pre-legislative scrutiny. It is incumbent on all of us to try to get that legislation through both Houses as quickly as possible to ensure that people do not find themselves in a similar position to Setanta's claimants. The Minister for Finance, Deputy Pashcal Donohoe, required the actuarial figure from the analysis to be done in July. Those calculations were concluded and presented in November or December. The Department had been dealing with the liquidator. To put it into context, we are looking at sums between €25 million and €40 million. The State will step up to try to conclude these matters as quickly as possible.

It is also important that people come to a conclusion; that they come to a settlement themselves. They will now be paid 100% of their claim, and the sooner people agree a figure, the sooner we can get as many of these dealt with as possible. I make that point because they do not all have to go to the High Court. It is important to note that the quicker people conclude the matter, the better.

It is also important that people come to a settlement themselves. They will now be paid 100% of the amount and the sooner they agree a figure, the sooner we can get as many of these finished as possible. I make that point because they do not all have to go to the High Court and the quicker people conclude the matter, the better.

With regard to the numbers, assuming that the higher claims estimate of €112.9 million is more accurate and that the 22% liquidator's estimate of what he can cover is accurate, the net additional cost will be of the order of €15 million rather than €40 million, provided that the liquidation delivers what is expected based on the actuarial report.

I refer to the issue I raised a while ago, which is the six-month cycle currently in place for the Insurance Compensation Fund to go to the High Court for approval to issue payments. People in some cases have been waiting three and a half years to have their claims settled, and they deserve to know now whether they will all be completely done and dusted and fully paid in 2018.

I cannot give an undertaking. When we had this conversation previously in the Chamber, I gave undertakings that I would do everything I could to try to conclude the matter as quickly as I could. My officials have done a good job to try to bring this to a conclusion and I am hopeful this can be concluded as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, I cannot do anything about the six months for the claims that are required to go to the High Court. Perhaps we will have an opportunity to reduce that to a shorter period in the next Bill. I gave an undertaking that I would conclude this as quickly as is practicable.

Tax Compliance

Pearse Doherty


69. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to concerns that have been raised regarding tax arrangements of multinationals in the State post-2014 whereby companies (details supplied) may have availed of intangible asset write-downs in the billions of euro which they may not be entitled to due to section 291A(7)(c) of the Taxes Consolidation Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4535/18]

The economist, Seamus Coffey, has brought to light an interesting opinion that, if accurate, could mean that the potential amount due from Apple will be significantly higher than €13 billion plus interest. I am sure the Minister read his blog post or least his newspaper article last weekend. Does the Minister accept the view that the State could potentially be in receipt of more than €13 billion with an additional €2.5 billion to €3 billion coming into its coffers?

As the Deputy will be aware, I am not at liberty, nor is it appropriate for me, to discuss the tax affairs of individual companies.

With regard to the tax provision mentioned, section 291A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 was introduced in 2009 to provide relief in the form of capital allowances against trading income on the capital expenditure incurred by companies on the provision of intangible assets for the purposes of a trade.

Prior to the introduction of this scheme, the tax system provided allowances for a limited range of intangibles such as patent rights or computer software but there was not a broad-based scheme for intangible assets generally. By introducing a specific scheme for intangible assets, Ireland has followed the international norm in this regard and has taken a similar approach to the UK and USA.

On foot of the recommendations in the Coffey report, I introduced an 80% cap on the relevant income against which capital allowances for intangible assets may be deducted in a tax year. We debated this provision at length during the passage of the Finance Act 2017.  On a number of occasions, I noted that this cap will not affect the overall capital allowances for intangible assets available to use against the relevant trading income but will affect the timing of these allowances.

A number of safeguards are in place to ensure the scheme operates as intended. They ensure relief is only available where a company is carrying on bona fide trading activities in managing, developing or exploiting intangible assets and allowances are ring-fenced. The arm’s length rule applies, ensuring relief is not available in respect of any expenditure incurred as part of a tax avoidance arrangement.

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners is statutorily independent in the exercise of its functions and any matter relating to compliance is pursued by them.

The European Commission has ruled that Apple owes €13 billion in corporate tax to Ireland on profits earned between 2004 and 2014. However, as pointed out by Seamus Coffey, that might not be the end of the story. When the state aid decision is finally handed down by the courts, they may decide that Apple owes the State more than €13 billion plus interest and penalties and that it could owe between €2.5 billion and €3 billion for each year since 2015. This is due to the fact that in light of the Paradise Papers last year, Commissioner Vestager said that she was gathering information about Apple's 2015 restructure. The Minister is familiar with this issue because I have questioned him on it on many occasions. What happened was that Apple moved its intellectual property to an Irish resident company, conveniently coinciding with the intangible asset write-downs cap being increased from 80% to 100%. This allowed the company to write down billions of euro in profits in 2015. However, there is a major snag in the restructure since 2015 as outlined by Mr. Coffey. Section 291A(7)(c) of the tax code specifically states that these deductions are not allowable if the expenditure was incurred as part of a scheme or arrangement in which the main purpose was to avoid tax. This is what will be brought into sharp focus by the Commission given its determination that Apple had a tax liability in 2015. Apple representatives said in response to media queries that the restructure in 2015 was for the main purpose in respect of tax.

It would not be appropriate to comment on what the court may do in respect of adjudication on this matter. We have made it clear that we disagree with the Commission's assessment but while we disagree with its assessment and will defend ourselves in court, we will collect the money that the Commission says is due. We are in the final stages of a procurement process in respect of who will manage the escrow account relating to that money and I expect that the money the Commission believes should be due to Ireland will begin to flow into that account in the second quarter of this year. I will not comment on what the European court may say in adjudicating our claim. We disagree fundamentally with the Commission's assessment and, obviously, we will contest this in a court of European law.

That is another deadline missed as the Minister promised that the escrow account would be in place in the first quarter and, indeed, he previously said it would be in place before the end of last year but that is not the issue. The issue is our tax code and the restructure in 2015 after Apple was caught out by the Commission. It is clear that there cannot be a restructure for the main purpose of avoiding tax. Apple said that the new restructure in 2015 was for the primary purpose of tax arrangements. That is not allowed in the Irish tax code. The Commission identified that there was a €2.5 billion profit in 2014 but that profit evaporated in 2015. The Government and the Revenue Commissioners are facilitating Apple once again in avoiding the payment of a tax liability of between €2.5 billion and €3 billion each year since 2015. Unless the Minister gets his house in order, he will continue to be attacked by people in Davos and elsewhere regarding our tax sovereignty because he is allowing this to happen on his watch. He needs to investigate this and establish whether this provision in our tax code was applied to Apple's restructure in 2015.

The Deputy is conveniently ignoring the fact that I have changed the allowances in respect of how intellectual property assets should be accounted for. I made the change on budget day and it has been legislated for through the Finance Act. I categorically reject any suggestion that the Revenue Commissioners or I are engaged in the kind of activity the Deputy is alleging and if there are concerns regarding compliance with Irish tax law, they are fundamentally a matter for the Revenue to pursue. I will not comment on any company in this regard but the Revenue pursues all matters relating to compliance with the tax code diligently.

Banking Sector

Michael McGrath


70. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his plans for the future of a bank (details supplied) in view of the fact that he is the majority stakeholder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4526/18]

The question relates to Permanent TSB, in which the Minister is the majority shareholder, owning 75% of the bank. The purpose of the question is to establish what is his policy in respect of the future of the bank. It is an important retail bank in our country but it is facing significant challenges. However, I believe there are opportunities as well to which I will refer shortly. I am seeking to ascertain Government policy on the future of the bank.

Permanent TSB is playing an important role in providing much needed finance to our housing market. While the management and board of the bank have further work to do in addressing legacy issues, the bank is making good progress and has a strong franchise that can prosper in a growing economy.

The good progress made is demonstrated by the bank’s trading performance in 2017 with key highlights including a recorded profit in the first half of the year, the first since the onset of the financial crisis. In addition, the market expects the bank to record a profit for the full year of 2017. In its third quarter trading statement, the bank reported continued momentum in new lending which increased by 64% year-on-year. This has translated into an increase in the bank’s residential mortgage share to 11.9% at the end of September. This is up from a market share of just over 9% across the full year of 2016. Other key highlights in the bank’s third quarter trading statement included the opening of over 30,000 current accounts, an increase of 16% year-on-year; and an increase in capital ratios with a fully loaded common equity tier 1, CET1, ratio of 15.3% compared to 14.9% at the end of 2016.

The Deputy is aware that the Government does not see itself as a long-term investor in the banking sector. Accordingly, the Government’s policy is to return fully each of the banks in which the State has a shareholding to private ownership. Officials in my Department monitor the performance of Permanent TSB, its share price and equity markets more generally on an ongoing basis to determine the next sensible opportunity to realise value from this investment.

It is important to point out that exiting our investment in Permanent TSB in a sensible measured way which will optimise value for our citizens could take a number of years. I do not propose to set out a rigid timeline for disposal.

I thank the Minister for his reply. Permanent TSB has high levels of capital. I too have read the financial results and trading statement. Residential lending is its core business. It has a market share of 11.9% in respect of mortgage drawdown. It must also be said, however, that it has a very high level of non-performing loans at 28%. There is considerable pressure from the European Central Bank to reduce that to single digit figures. The most likely way to achieve that is through a sell-off of Permanent TSB's loan portfolio. I have been critical of how the bank treats some existing customers, particularly with regard to mortgage pricing. For example, some of those who have now been offered a fixed rate are not offered the same rate as new customers. I put it to the Minister that he should be open to proposals or offers from major international players that might look to the Irish market and see Permanent TSB as a potential entry point and platform. The Minister should be open to at least considering such approaches and, indeed, he should actively seek them out.

As I said a moment ago it is not my objective to be the long-term owner of Permanent TSB on behalf of the Irish taxpayer. In the first instance, it is a matter for the board to adjudicate on whether any potential purchaser is in the best long-term interests of the company. The objective I want to pursue from a banking policy point of view is the strengthening of competition within the market. Permanent TSB is already making very strong progress with regard to competition, lending and investment, as indicated by the third quarter trading statement. I will continue to support it in its work, as appropriate.

I respect what the Minister is saying. It is of course important that the bank be supported. The State and our economy have a direct financial interest in Permanent TSB and its performance. However, I argue, as I have done before, about how certain customers are treated. If one takes the bank's managed variable mortgage rate for example, customers are only allowed to revise their rate once, even if their loan-to-value ratios have fallen very significantly. That is out of line with other banks. Similarly, Permanent TSB discriminates between existing customers and new customers in respect of its fixed rate offerings. In my view, that is not acceptable and should not be allowed. The bank also has a very high level of non-performing loans. I certainly want to see a long-term viable future for Permanent TSB, but the bank has significant challenges. It does not currently appear to be offering much competition in the marketplace. If the right approach was made with a view to Permanent TSB being acquired and used as a platform to introduce significant new competition to the Irish market, that approach should be considered.

I agree with the Deputy. I also want a long-term viable future for Permanent TSB. I believe it is on the path to achieving such a future. Its recent trading performance indicates that very clearly. As the Minister who represents the shareholding the Irish taxpayer has in the bank, which as I said a moment ago is still valued at €800 million, it is not appropriate for me to give an indication regarding whether another company or investor should seek to acquire that share. My objective over time is to realise the best return possible for the Irish taxpayer and to put in place the right kinds of supports within Permanent TSB to ensure that it has a successful and viable future ahead of it. This is a matter which is well understood by the chief executive and the board. We support them in their work.

Pension Provisions

Joan Burton


71. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance his policy on pensions; his responsibilities in respect of pensions as Minister for Finance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4349/18]

Is the Minister aware than only 40% of private sector workers make any provision for their retirement pensions and that many in the private sector will rely entirely on the State pension to meet their income needs when they are in retirement? Whatever happened to the proposal of the previous Government to have a supplementary pension scheme into which people would be automatically enrolled? It appears effectively to have been completely shelved.

Perhaps I will answer the two specific questions which the Deputy put to me as part of my supplementary replies. In respect of the broad question which the Deputy tabled, she will be aware that a number of State bodies have a role in the broad area of pension policy. The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is responsible for State pension policy. As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, my responsibilities primarily relate to public service pensions. As Minister for Finance, my Department has a role in relation to pension policy and this role has primarily related to the use of tax policy to incentivise savings. In addition, I have responsibility for overall macroeconomic policy and fiscal sustainability. In this context I am committed, along with my colleagues in government, to reforming the area of pension provision and pension savings in Ireland.

My colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, has previously announced in this House that it is her intention soon to bring forward a comprehensive five-year pensions reform programme. Officials from both of my Departments are engaged with this programme. It is very significant as it has material implications for many stakeholders. Along with proposed reforms to the existing pensions system, it is proposed to introduce a policy of automatic enrolment to increase pension coverage and to address the issue of income adequacy in retirement for those currently without supplementary pensions. The Minister, Deputy Regina Doherty, has stated that, following Government approval and publication of the reform plan, it is intended that a detailed evidence building and consultation process will be undertaken to deliver an auto-enrolment system.

The direct answers to the two questions the Deputy has put to me are, first, that I am starkly aware of the challenges that are approaching in respect of the number of our citizens who have adequate pension coverage for the future.

Regarding the proposal on auto-enrolment, the Minister, Deputy Regina Doherty, will be advancing this matter through the roadmap for overall pension reform.

I thank the Minister for his answer. I am glad that he has acknowledged, as the chief financial officer of the State, that he is the lead person on pension policy. During my time as Minister for Social Protection a vast amount of work and consultation, the results of all of which are available to him, was carried out by my Department, with the active support and interest of his own. However, the process has stalled and we seem to be about to undergo another consultation process which could delay everything by a further five years. Irish society has a changing demographic. Unless we have something like a supplementary pension option for workers to save for their retirement, many will end up on the State pension alone which will almost certainly result in their being at risk of poverty. What are the time dimensions of the proposed further consultations?

I agree with much of the Deputy's analysis. The levels of private pension coverage are not what we want them to be because many citizens face the prospect of only having the State non-contributory pension on which to depend in the future. The other major difference between them and previous generations is that an increasing number of individuals will be renting. Therefore, unlike their predecessors, they will not own financial assets like a home. This has the potential to significantly affect the income streams they will be able to access in later life.

With respect, I am not the lead Minister on pension policy. It is the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Deputy Regina Doherty. For the reasons outlined, however, I fully support her in putting in place a framework to address this issue which I expect to be presented in a number of weeks' time when the Deputy will see that it will try to move the issue forward from the work done in the Department while she was leading it.

While I was in the Department in 2012, I commissioned Ireland's first ever study of pension charges and costs. The supplementary pension will have to be a State system because the charges, both visible and hidden, levied by private institutions have increased since the survey which I requested was conducted. People in their 30s are, we hope, moving to purchase their first home. Much of their savings will be concentrated on it. It is possible to utilise USC and, although the Minister might not agree with my recommendation, return to social partnership. In the wage and salary discussions that must take place if we are to improve workers' living standards, Government funding could be allocated to contribute to pension funds. We need to prevent a recurrence of what happened to the National Pensions Reserve Fund which basically was given to the banks.

The Deputy makes two fair points. First, if we are to set up a structure to incentivise citizens to leave more aside for the future, we must avoid a situation where the funds they will leave aside will be eroded by the fees and charges levied by those who will manage the funds. I am aware of that matter. If we are to ask people to set aside what could be a noticeable amount of their after-tax income, we will need to give them the confidence that that income will be used in the future to generate other income.

On the Deputy's second point about the potential role of the taxpayer in supporting such contributions, there could be that need. The Minister, Deputy Regina Doherty, is finalising the roadmap which she will publish soon and I am working with her on the matter. We need to reach a point at which we will not just be looking at a single contribution from a worker but also considering what contribution the employer can make and role the State might have. I am alive to that issue.

Corporation Tax Regime

Michael McGrath


72. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on the proposals by certain EU member states on changes to the way in which digital or high tech multinational companies are taxed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4527/18]

I refer to the emerging EU proposals on the taxation of digital revenues. We have a particular interest in this issue, given that this is a country in which some of the world's largest Internet-based companies are located. I am aware of Revenue's guidance to the Minister which has been released through a freedom of information request. What is the Government's position on the proposals made?

A number of EU member states are seeking new approaches to taxing large digital businesses that operate across borders. Concerns focus on the ability of a company to have many users or customers in a country without being liable to corporation tax in that country.

Leaders at the European Council recognised the importance of a global approach to the issue of digital taxation. Finance Ministers have also agreed Council conclusions building on the direction given by leaders and their work will continue with a view to reaching a global consensus.

The European Council conclusions reflect Ireland's key priorities. There is no commitment to separate action at EU level and the primary objective remains achieving alignment with OECD work in this area. The conclusions also recognise that there is no agreement on whether temporary action is needed, pending the completion of global work.

The OECD is carrying out important research into taxing digital business. We expect that work to conclude in April. It will provide a vital input into this policy area. The Commission's proposal is also expected to be published before the end of March.

Aggressive tax planning by multinational companies is a global problem that requires a global solution. Ireland has played a full part in implementing international tax reforms and we are holding a consultation process on how we will implement the remaining OECD base erosion and profit shifting, BEPS, reforms. US tax reforms will also play a crucial role in preventing aggressive tax planning by US companies from achieving low global effective tax rates.

Applying different rules within the European Union to what is being applied globally is likely to result in double taxation and greater uncertainty. We should not rush into short-term solutions without a comprehensive evaluation of the potential risks. It is important, therefore, that we do not pre-empt this work by attempting to reach answers without properly considering the questions. At a basic level, we must be careful about segregating companies or businesses as being either digital or not digital businesses.

Is it the intention that the OECD and EU proposals will be aligned, that is, there will be no unilateral action at EU level? Is it the Government's position that this issue needs to be dealt with on a multilateral basis that extends beyond the European Union? Will the Minister confirm that he has received a briefing document from Revenue on the emerging digital revenue proposals from some of the larger EU member states, including France and Germany? It has been reported that Revenue has made it clear that it is likely Ireland would be the eurozone state worst hit by the proposals. Is the Minister against the proposals emerging from the European Union or which have been articulated by some of the larger member states?

Will he stick to the position that there should be no unilateral action at EU level?

It is very much my intention and objective that the work of the OECD and the European Union should be aligned. This was reflected in the conclusions of the European Council and the recent conclusions on the matter of the Eurogroup and ECOFIN. On whether there will be unilateral action by other member states, that is an issue on which I cannot give the Deputy a commitment. As he will be aware, Italy has indicated that it may look to bring forward such a tax. There is already a form of taxation of digital activity in the United Kingdom. Member states may decide to pursue their own policy in the area. It is my objective that any action the European Union takes will be aligned with the direction of travel of the OECD.

I thank the Minister. Will he confirm receipt of a briefing paper from the Revenue Commissioners which, it is reported, states the proposals would result in a significant fall off in corporation and payroll tax receipts for Ireland, as well as impacting negatively on the ability of the State to attract inward investment in the future? The point is also made in the briefing document that the proposals would likely lead to greater taxing rights in larger countries. This is part of an overall attack on Ireland's corporation tax system. We already have the common consolidated corporate tax base proposals. We know that when profits are attributed based on sales and the location of assets and employees, Ireland will undoubtedly be a very significant loser if the proposals are implemented. I welcome the clarification given by the Minister. I take it from him that it is the position of the Government that the EU action should very much be aligned with that of the OECD in this respect.

On the Deputy's question about the common consolidated corporate tax base policy, I will continue to oppose such a policy move and will oppose any change in the decision-making process in that policy area. My objective overall is, as I said, to ensure the work of the European Union and the OECD is aligned. I say this because I believe the best way to avoid trading difficulties or tax competition is for all of this to take place on a global and co-ordinated level. As I said in response to the Deputy's earlier question, it is entirely possible within the legal framework available to member states for them to pursue unilateral action in accordance with their tax sovereignty. We have seen a number of countries begin to consider this. I have outlined my approach to the matter.