Sunday 17 December 2017

Kenny joins UK in fight against financial-transaction tax

Lise Hand and Fiach Kelly

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny yesterday warned EU leaders Ireland could not accept a financial-transaction tax which would put Ireland at a disadvantage to the UK.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will veto any such tax for the entire EU, claiming it will damage the City of London.

Mr Kenny yesterday said Ireland could not accept a financial-transaction tax that does not apply in Britain, since it would damage Dublin's IFSC. Both leaders say it would only be acceptable if it was applied worldwide.

Speaking at the British-Irish Council in Dublin Castle, where he met Mr Cameron's deputy, Nick Clegg, Mr Kenny said: "We have a very clear position on this, you could not have a situation where a financial-transaction tax resulted in a difference between what happens in London and what happens here."

"Obviously the International Financial Services Centre here is of critical importance to our economy as indeed the City of London is important to the British economy," he added.

"We've made it very clear that would not be acceptable to us. Obviously in a global sense a financial-transaction tax, were it be paid by everybody, would be acceptable."

Mr Clegg said the idea was being floated by the European Commission, which admitted itself the move could cost 500,000 jobs across Europe.

"Now call me old-fashioned, but I kind of think that when you're in an economically precarious position as the whole European continent is, I just somewhat don't think the priority should be a measure which its proponents admit would lead to significant levels of unemployment," he said.

Irish Independent

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