Saturday 18 November 2017

If Europe targets our corporation tax then we should pull out of EU, says Kingspan ceo Murtagh

Kingspan CEO Gene Murtagh
Kingspan CEO Gene Murtagh
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Gene Murtagh, the chief executive of global insulation maker Kingspan, has warned that any attempt at EU level to meddle with our low 12.5pc corporation tax rate should be cause for Ireland to pull out of the union.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Independent, Murtagh, whose company is on course to reach €3bn in revenues this year, said the EU has been a "phenomenal benefit" to most countries, especially Ireland.

However, he also said that a "single boot approach" and the "imposition" of various rules and codes from Brussels is failing to accommodate the economic requirements of individual member states.

Murtagh (45) said that the sense of an "invisible dictatorial influence from somewhere into your country" was contributing to voter dissatisfaction across Europe as seen in the recent Brexit vote in the UK. Ireland's low corporation tax rate has come in for criticism among some European member states, with France being one of the most vocal in the past.

However, it is also a cornerstone of the economy.

"Our corporate tax rate is absolutely a red-line issue," said Murtagh.

"I would say control of that [setting corporate tax rates] at the cost of not being in the EU, I'd go that far," said Murtagh.

Last year Kingspan spent €414m on two acquisitions, Joris Ide in Belgium and Vicwest in Canada. Kingspan spent a further €83m in the first half of this year acquiring Euroclad in the UK and Tankworks in Australia.

It recently announced it was spending €126m to acquire Essmann, a European daylighting business with exposure to Germany, and Eurobond, an affiliate of Euroclad. With almost 100 factories Kingspan is building 10 new facilities worldwide.

Sunday Indo Business

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business