Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Bausch & Lomb chief confident on tax rate

Conor Kane

THE US-based chief of one of the world's leading eyecare manufacturers has expressed confidence that the Irish government will maintain the 12.5pc corporation tax rate.

Bausch & Lomb chief executive Brent Saunders said he was "supremely confident" that the government "understands the importance" of not increasing the rate because of its attractiveness to multinationals.

Speaking during a visit to Waterford, where the company employs 1,100 people and is investing $100m (€70m), Mr Saunders said the two principal attractions for locating in Ireland are the corporation tax rate and the labour force.

"I think we remain very confident that the tax rate will stay where it is and the government will understand that that is the key to the future."

He said his counterparts in other US-led companies with Irish facilities also believe our rate is important to their future in this country. "Most American CEOs I've spoken to, that have investments here in Ireland, are fairly confident that the right thing will be done."

Ireland's tax rate for businesses has become an issue at EU level.

Up to 100 people will be employed at Bausch & Lomb in Waterford during construction of a 4,000sqm extension to the facility, while the new investment is expected to consolidate the company's permanent employment level of 1,100.

The firm, which has been in Waterford since 1970, announced job cuts of 120 in July 2009, but said its latest investment was a vote of confidence in the Irish facility.

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