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Wednesday 26 July 2017

France takes aim at Ireland's low company tax rate

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron Picture: Reuters
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron Picture: Reuters

Shona Murray

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has the Irish regime in his sights as he plans to push for tax harmonisation among eurozone states if he wins office

Mr Macron explicitly mentioned Ireland as he insisted the gap in tax systems between EU member states would have to be reduced in the coming years.

Mr Macron said: "As for Ireland, we do know today that that's the bias for a lot of corporates, that it's bias for a lot of sectors and especially the digital sectors."

Mr Macron said he intends to lower France's corporate tax rate to the EU average of around 25pc - twice the current rate in Ireland.

And last night his senior economic advisor, Clement Beaune told the Irish Independent that Mr Macron believes "if we share a currency and economic integration then we have to share rules about social and systems including harmonisation".

The comments prompted a swift response from Taoiseach Enda Kenny who is currently visiting Canada. "The treaties of the EU set out quite clearly the responsibility of countries to deal with their corporate tax," he said.

"Ireland's tax rate has been 12.5pc for many years across all sectors and it will stay where it is," he said.

"There have been attempts at this before, but that is our business. It is enshrined in the protocol of the treaty, it is a national competence for everyone in the European Union."

Ireland has been in the spotlight over its low corporation tax rate of 12.5pc and allegations of "sweetheart deals" to multinationals. Last year's European Commission ruling on State aid to Apple is being appealed.

Irish Independent

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