Opening Bell: 'Big Four' income rises in Ireland, Germany's corp' tax reform worries, LuxLeaks whistleblower goes on trial

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Income from fees at Ireland's top four accounting firms rose by 16% last year as they generated €1.14bn in fees.

Employment at the Big 4 increased by 12% to 9,696 according to The Irish Times' report.

KPMG managing partner Shaun Murphy said that "Continued economic growth has provided opportunities for Irish-based businesses to expand their operations."

He added that while the outlook is positive for the Irish economy, the upcoming in/out referendum on EU membership in the UK has created uncertainty and "contributed to some softening in business sentiment."

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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has expressed his reservations about the EU's plans to make multinational company's tax payment details public.

"Sometimes there is a contradiction between transparency and efficiency ... We have to be cautious about lining someone up to be pilloried publicly," he said.

He added that the German government as a whole is against the proposal.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem chaired the meeting, he acknowledged that opinion is split across the Union over how to reform corporate tax payments.

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French whistleblower, Antoine Deltour says that he is "quite worried" as he faces criminal charges for leaking 28,000 pages of documents from PwC.

The release was analysed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who published the 'LuxLeaks' as a collaboration with news outlets around the world.

Mr Deltour's trial begins tomorrow, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The leak lifted the lid on the tax avoidance strategies of some of the world's biggest companies and showed that some  paid tax rates as low as 1or 2%

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Talks between Luas drivers and management will resume today to try to resolve their long-running pay dispute.

If a deal isn't reached, the next strike will take place on Thursday - with further action planned for the following Wednesday.

Ticket collectors and traffic supervisors settled on an agreement on Friday, which will be put to a ballot of staff next week.

It's believed the company has offered all staff a pay rise of 13% over three years - that's around 5% less than the deal rejected by drivers last month.