Friday 30 September 2016

Noonan shoots down tobacco firm levy

Published 07/02/2016 | 02:30

Michael Noonan has rejected the idea of a special levy on tobacco profits Photo: Mark Condren
Michael Noonan has rejected the idea of a special levy on tobacco profits Photo: Mark Condren

Michael Noonan has shot down a proposal for a special levy on the Irish profits of tobacco companies as being a threat to the "attractiveness of Ireland's corporate tax offering".

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He also said the move could have state aid implications.

However, Fine Gael does want to raise €349m from hiking the price of cigarettes, in a move that would hit smokers' pockets and only impact tobacco firms indirectly.

Noonan was responding to a parliamentary question tabled by Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty, who asked what the expected revenue from a 25pc levy on the Irish profits of tobacco companies would be.

The Irish Heart Foundation has suggested a similar levy.

The Deputy's suggested approach would involve complexity and could undermine the attractiveness of Ireland's corporate tax offering," Noonan said. "Ireland's corporate tax rate of 12.5pc on trading income is akin to a brand and is an important part of the Government's strategy... the Deputy's suggested approach would involve complexity and could undermine the attractiveness of Ireland's corporate tax offering."

The minister said it wasn't possible to form a reliable estimate of the revenue the measure would yield.

Sunday Indo Business

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