Vote call on 12.5pc corporation tax rate
Published 19/11/2010 | 14:24
Fine Gael is to call a Dail vote on the 12.5pc tax rate on company profits.
Enda Kenny said there were real fears the attractive 12.5pc rate was on the IMF/EU's negotiating table.
"There are genuine fears that the Fianna Fail/Green Government will sacrifice our 12.5pc corporation tax rate as part of its bailout negotiations," the Opposition leader said.
"A low corporation tax rate is a cornerstone of Ireland's economy, and will play a crucial role in rebuilding the country."
Several government ministers have said the levy is non-negotiable, with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan last night issuing a warning that it is a "red line" dealbreaker.
However, Ireland is under pressure from EU states like Britain, Germany and France to move on the rate, the lowest in any major European economy, as a bailout compromise.
Fine Gael, which introduced the regime in coalition government with Labour in the mid-1990s, plans to introduce a private members' debate in the Dail next week.
Mr Kenny said the company tax supported thousands of jobs in Ireland and teams of workers from the inward investment agency, IDA Ireland, trying to attract businesses around the world.
"The survival of the 12.5pc rate will be crucial for retaining thousands of jobs in multinational companies based in Ireland," he said.
"The IDA has hundreds of dedicated staff across the world trying to secure deals for investment and job creation in Ireland.
"A low corporation tax rate is crucial to their efforts."
Sinn Fein was targeted by Fine Gael over fears that it has not made clear how it would treat corporation tax.
The party's finance spokesman, Arthur Morgan, said: "Sinn Fein has no intention of supporting increases to the corporation tax levels in this State in the foreseeable future."