Saturday 17 March 2018

We have no room for appeasement on our corporation tax rate

Sarkozy must not be allowed bully Ireland on an issue of economic life-or-death importance, writes Michael McDowell

Last week, I wrote about the gravity of the Franco-German assault on the Irish corporate tax rate of 12.5 per cent. I am glad to see that Simon Coveney adopted my phrase "economic suicide" in relation to any suggestion that Ireland should back down on that issue. Enda Kenny has argued that the European Commission's proposals for a common corporate tax base seemed to him to be "harmonisation by the back door".

Given that our capacity to determine our rate of corpor-ation tax is of economic life-or-death importance to Ireland, we must now be vigilant against those who would have us barricade the front door of the tax rate while taking the bolt off the back door.

Fearghal O'Rourke has suggested this week that the Government should be allowed flexibility on the latter issue without having to look over its shoulder all the time. For reasons that I will expand on presently, I half-agree with him. But for other reasons, I half-disagree with him.

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