Friday 24 November 2017

Kenny insists corporation tax rate not up for debate

Breda Heffernan and Fionnan Sheahan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has insisted there will be no change in Ireland's corporation tax rate, despite signals that new French president Francois Holland wants tax harmonisation across the EU.

Shortly after taking up office, Mr Kenny had to fight off an attack by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Ireland's 12.5pc rate.

Mr Sarkozy's successor, Mr Hollande, has similar views about the country's low rate of tax.

The new president's intentions were set out by one of his economic advisers, who warned the harmonisation of corporate tax rates across the eurozone would be on his agenda.

Mr Kenny was adamant that Ireland's corporate rate is not up for debate.

"There will be no change in Ireland's corporation tax rate, let me be very, very clear about that.

"In fact the European Parliament only voted a few weeks ago for the endorsement of the protocol which added on to the Lisbon Treaty making this a requirement of unanimity and therefore a matter for each individual country," he added.

Mr Kenny said there will also be no delay in ratifying the EU fiscal treaty following the referendum vote at the end of the month.

"There will be no delay in ratifying the treaty. We need certainty, decisiveness and a very clear message to the world that Ireland understands exactly where we are headed, headed in the right direction, and a resounding yes will give the opportunity for the Oireachtas to ratify it," he said.

But a No campaign group said Ireland has to wait until Mr Hollande shows his cards on tax harmonisation before signing up to the EU fiscal treaty.

Declan Ganley's Libertas said it made no sense for the country to sign up to an agreement until it's known what it's final shape will be.

"These comments from President Hollande are deeply concerning, and dramatically illustrate the historic folly made by the Government in deciding to jump off the cliff with a blindfold and hold this referendum now," a spokesman said.

Libertas said the only sensible option to protect our tax competitiveness and get a deal on bank debt was to force the Government to delay this decision by voting No.

Irish Independent

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