Saturday 3 December 2016

Chances of a spat with Brussels on profit tax have risen

Published 17/01/2016 | 02:30

Public debt as % of National Income 2015 Q2
Public debt as % of National Income 2015 Q2

Senior bank bondholders getting burnt, sovereign debt relief and troika-style reports on the economy. No, I'm not referring to 2011. All of these matters arose afresh last week. And along with the European Commission's finding against Belgium's corporation tax regime on Monday, these happenings serve to show how complicated the economic policy-making process has become. They also suggest that further debt relief on Ireland's bailout loans could be in store and that Apple might be called on to cough up billions of euro in extra profit taxes to the exchequer.

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Let's start with the ever controversial issue of corporation tax.

Ireland, Luxembourg and Belgium are being investigated by Brussels, which suspects that all three countries have given sweetheart deals to multinationals.

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