Sunday 19 November 2017

Nobody woke the economic watchdog

The crisis we're now in is Europe's fault as well -- and they need us to survive this just as much as we do, says Michael McDowell

I HOPE that I am not too wary. I heard Michael Noonan say on TV on Friday that the Irish "corporate tax rate" was a "vital national interest" on which there would be no give. I wholly agree. Should I feel reassured?

When Enda Kenny had said last month that the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base was "harmonisation by the back door", I was re-assured. But Noonan didn't mention the CCCTB in his reported remarks. I hope that we are not seeing the beginnings of a Government back-down on this issue. This is a matter on which the Government must be monitored very closely indeed.

Schadenfreude in relation to Portugal is inappropriate. We are not on our own in the EU. We may feel like damaged goods in the eyes of the EU establishment, and in many ways we are. But we should remember that part of the "architecture of the euro" was a hierarchical European Central Bank structure in which national central banks were made autonomous and independent of government direction at a national level.

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