Monday 23 April 2018

Hewlett Packard jobs at risk if corporation tax rises

Ailish O'Hora

A leading US corporation has warned it could stop investing in Ireland if our controversial low corporation tax is increased in return for a bailout.

IT firm Hewlett Packard employs over 4,000 people at facilities in Dublin, Leixlip, Galway and Belfast and has been in operation here since 1976.

Ireland's 12.5pc corporation tax is one of the lowest in Europe and is the envy of many other European firms where the rate is much higher.

"HP is very clear, if the tax rate increased we would be relooking at our investment in Ireland," the company's manufacturing boss Lionel Alexander told the Irish Independent.

"We welcome assurances from the Government that the rate is safe but if that were to change we would have to review any future investment plans."

A number of other multinationals operating here including Google and Intel have also warned that the rate should not be touched as part of IMF/EU bailout talks.

US firms operating in Ireland employ just under 100,000 directly and many others through spin-off industries.

Our 12.5pc rate is the third lowest in the EU-27 and the lowest in eurozone countries like France and Germany who have called for it to be increased in the past.

Some of these states accelerated these calls in the past week as bailout talks intensified but have since rolled back on their original calls.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the weekend the Irish rate is a matter for the Government.

However, opposition parties are still concerned the rate could be increased and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has tabled a motion in the Dail this week to have the rate maintained.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business