Gilmore insists that corporation tax will not be increased
TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has insisted the Government will not increase its rate of corporation tax as France and Germany look to once and for all solve the euro crisis.
Despite calls from President Nicolas Sarkozy to end unfair tax competition across eurozone countries, Mr Gilmore said a rise from the existing 12.5% rate was not on the table.
"The position of the Irish Government is absolutely clear," he said.
"We are retaining our rate of corporation tax.
"It's hugely important for us to provide that certainty for investors and potential investors that they know that the Irish Government is not going to increase corporation tax."
President Sarkozy will meet Prime Minister David Cameron in Paris to discuss the sovereign debt crisis, which is crippling the eurozone and threatens stability in Britain.
They are expected to consider reorganising the governance of the eurozone for closer co-operation between the 17-strong bloc, which could potentially marginalise Britain's influence in the EU.
Meanwhile, the Tanaiste dismissed Mr Sarkozy's comments on tax reform as nothing new.
He added: "The President said last night things that the President and the French Government have been saying for some time. There's nothing new in that."
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also warned that European nations could be on the verge of a fiscal union, which would mean much stricter budgetary rules and tax reforms.
She said such a union would be necessary to create stability amid the deepening eurozone crisis.
The Chancellor explained that while the idea of fiscal union would have seemed crazy this time last year, the item is now very much on the agenda.
She said European nations are on the verge of it, with most recognising that it is a necessity.
Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy will meet ahead of a major European Council summit in Brussels on December 7 where European Council president Herman Van Rompuy is expected to table a set of proposals to deal with the eurozone crisis and the potential fall of the euro.
President Sarkozy is expected to call for changes to EU treaties to ensure closer economic governance, but Mr Gilmore said Ireland believes the crisis can be resolved without such changes.
"The decision that was made in October was that President Van Rompuy would bring proposals to the December council meetings and we expect he will do that," said the Tanaiste.
"However, the view of the Irish Government is that the problems in the euro need to be addressed now. We believe that it is possible to do that within the existing treaties."
The Tanaiste gave his commitments as he opened a new SuperValu supermarket in Dun Laoghaire.