Monday 23 January 2017

Burn the bank bondholders -- 45pc of bosses

Hands off our corporate tax rate, leaders tell poll

Published 10/04/2011 | 05:00

Almost half of the chief executives of Ireland's top 200 companies believe the bank bondholders should be burned.

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The Sunday Independent business leaders' survey 2011 provides a rare insight into the minds of the key executives running Ireland's largest companies.

One in four of the respondents to the Sunday Independent survey believes that the bondholders should not be touched. A large number -- 30 per cent -- were un- decided.

The French and German governments have been squeezing Ireland to hike its 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate in return for fewer punitive conditions and repayments on the €67.5bn IMF/EU bailout deal.

The bosses who responded to our survey were adamant that the Government should not surrender our low corporate rate in return for a more affordable deal. An overwhelming 93 per cent indicated that the rate should not be changed.

Some economists believe that Ireland's debt problems could be solved by exiting the euro and devaluing our currency. The idea of breaking up the eurozone has gained currency in recent months. It would have been unthinkable before the sovereign debt crisis flattened Greece, Ireland and most recently Portugal, which sought a bailout last week. Almost one in 20 of the companies' most influential business leaders who responded feels that Ireland should leave the euro. The vast majority, close to 82 per cent, oppose this view with the remainder undecided.

There is an increasing feeling that Ireland is being used as a political football by key European leaders such as Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel. This has led to an increase in anti-European feeling in the country. More than one-third -- 36 per cent -- of the executives helming our biggest companies have become more negative on Europe since the financial crisis began. Just 9 per cent of those who responded had become more positive about Europe, with the majority -- almost 55 per cent -- saying their opinion was unchanged.

The sixth annual Sunday Independent business leaders' survey, was a postal poll of the top 200 companies carried out in late March with a near 41 per cent return rate.

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