Opening Bell: Ireland named on "worst tax havens" list, housing sector up, new Ikea jobs

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Ireland is the sixth worst corporate tax haven in the world, according to Oxfam.

Its new report also says that Ireland's favourable corporate tax rate means ordinary people lose out on essential public services.

The charity – which combats poverty – places Bermuda top of the list of 15 countries, followed by the Cayman Islands and the Netherlands.

CEO of Oxfam Jim Clarken says Ireland is part of a toxic global tax system:

"We estimate that across the world about $100bn of tax is lost to developing country governments every year.

"This is money that should be used to pay for health, for education, for essential services, for people living in extreme poverty. But, unfortunately, the report identifies a number of countries that are facilitating large-scale tax avoidance by large companies."


Housing was the strongest performing sector of the construction industry last month.

The latest report from Ulster Bank also reveals that November saw the sharpest rise in employment since February.

It comes as the Construction Industry Federation estimates that 112,000 employees are needed to work on projects up to 2020.

Ulster Bank's chief economist Simon Barry said:

"We know that we need more housing activity in the Irish economy at the moment and November is telling us that there certainly is a pretty rapid rate of increase in housing activity."


The UK's House of Lords is releasing its report today on the impact of Brexit on UK-Irish relations.

The house's EU committee has considered the implications for the economy and cross border trade, the common travel area and the movement of goods and people.

It has also looked at the implications for the peace process.

The report is the first of six on Brexit that the committee will publish over the next six days.

Meanwhile, another report is recommending that EU nationals currently living in the UK should be able to remain there permanently.

British PM Theresa May says she won't agreed the status of 2.8 million Europeans, until the rights of Britons living on the continent are guaranteed.

The think tank British Future says that's "morally wrong".

Director Sunder Katwala said:

"This inquiry shows that people who are on both sides of the referendum, across the party spectrum, for business, unions and elsewhere, all agree, the only fair thing to do is to say if you came to Britain to work here, to make your home here, you've got to be given the guaranteed right to stay, and that should happen as soon as possible."


Ikea is set to create up to 30 jobs at its new customer support call centre in Dublin.

The Swedish furniture giant will open a customer service hub in Ballymun next May, as the company aims to "increase the post-sales customer experience" for Irish shoppers.

Ikea Ireland market manager Marsha Smith said:

"If you ring a contact centre you want to speak to someone locally, and you want to talk about the store you've just been in. If you phoned Ikea today you would get put through to Peterborough, so we wanted something more local."