Monday 22 October 2018

Targeting migration a 'huge mistake' - Varadkar

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, Fionnuala Meehan, VP and head of Google in Dublin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Gareth Morgan, VP of Google Cloud Sales at the opening of the new Google offices on Grand Canal Street. Photo: Tony Gavin
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, Fionnuala Meehan, VP and head of Google in Dublin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Gareth Morgan, VP of Google Cloud Sales at the opening of the new Google offices on Grand Canal Street. Photo: Tony Gavin

Shona Murray

Countries that are "cracking down" on migration are making a "huge mistake", Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned.

Mr Varadkar said "how much better our economy is because of migration, and our public services as well, which depend on attracting talent from around the world".

He continued: "When I see, in so many parts of the world, governments cracking down on migration, I think what a huge mistake that is."

Mr Varadkar, the son of an Indian immigrant, was speaking at the opening of Google's new office on Grand Canal Dock, in Dublin. It's the seventh of the company's locations in Ireland.

Also present at Google's 'Velasco Building' were staff and politicians, including head of Google Ireland, Fionnuala Meehan, CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, and Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan.

Meanwhile, Mr Shanahan defended the Irish tax regime, availed of by multinationals like Google.

While Ireland's low corporate tax system is a considerable draw for attracting tech giants, it's a major bone of contention in Europe.

The European Commission and big member states like France and Germany are pressuring the Government to change its tax offering to a harmonised system to fit all EU countries.

"Ireland's position is very clear: we have a competitive, transparent and consistent tax regime, and the Government is very clear that it's not for changing on that," he told the Irish Independent.

"We're not for changing on 12.5pc, and that tax is a sovereign issue."

Irish Independent

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