Friday 21 July 2017

Chancellor's 'no comment' on tax rate

Philip Hammond wouldn’t comment on plans by his predecessor to slash the country’s corporation tax rate. Photo: AP
Philip Hammond wouldn’t comment on plans by his predecessor to slash the country’s corporation tax rate. Photo: AP
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The newly appointed UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has pledged to do whatever is required to restore confidence in the British economy - but wouldn't comment on plans by his predecessor to slash the country's corporation tax rate.

Philip Hammond, who has replaced George Osborne, said the vote to leave the European Union had "rattled confidence" and he will take "whatever measures" needed to shore up the British economy.

But there appeared to be no repeat of the tough talk on corporation tax from Mr Osborne, who suggested the rate should be slashed to below 15pc, putting it in direct competition with Ireland for foreign direct investment.

Mr Hammond, in a series of media interviews yesterday, declined to commit himself to plans made by Mr Osborne in the wake of the referendum.

Earlier this month Mr Osborne outlined plans to aggressively cut the UK's corporate tax to less than 15pc as he unveiled his plan to galvanise the economy.

That would take Britain close to the 12.5pc corporation tax rate in Ireland, which has been a cornerstone of our economy and helped attract major employers, including Apple, Pfizer and Google.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Michael Noonan congratulated Mr Hammond, and said he was planning a call with him.

He also expressed "regret" at the departure of Mr Osborne, whom he described as a colleague in Europe and a friend to Ireland.

He also recalled Mr Osborne's support in providing Ireland with a bilateral loan as part of the bailout programme.

Irish Independent

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