A Dutch Socialist member of the EU parliament has accused Ireland of tax avoidance and said its way of attracting foreign investment is a form of "piracy". 

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Paul Tang said Ireland, like Malta, Luxembourg and his native country is "very good for going to another country and stealing from the coffers of the ministry of finance".

He said the evidence is overwhelming for this, by just looking at the statistics.

"A small country like Ireland has more foreign investment than Germany or France, that's weird," he said.

Mr Tang also said it shows that Ireland's investment is ultimately down to "loads of paper constructions" to avoid taxes. 

"My point is that Ireland and also my country does not take into account its European partners. Part of a union is to work together. On this issue we fight each other."

He thinks Ireland would attract business regardless of its low tax rate and it does not need to use this as the main attraction. He said it is not just about getting the biggest slice of the cake, but also being fair.