Vig­i­lance call af­ter Juncker tax­a­tion vow

MEP Hayes wel­comes cor­po­rate tax pledge

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Today In Your Sunday Independent - Philip Ryan

EURO­PEAN Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker’s com­mit­ment not to in­ter­fere with Ire­land’s cor­po­rate tax rate with­out the Gov­ern­ment’s con­sent has been cau­tiously wel­comed.

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes said he was pleased to hear Mr Juncker’s com­ments, but in­sisted Ire­land should re­main “vig­i­lant” in the face of moves by Brus­sels to reg­u­larise cor­po­rate tax rates across the EU.

“No mem­ber state, big or small, can be rail­roaded into do­ing some­thing not in their na­tional in­ter­est. The Com­mis­sion, as the de­fender of the treaties and ul­ti­mately the de­fender of smaller mem­ber states, can­not al­low EU tax pol­icy to be dic­tated by the big four,” Mr Hayes told the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent. In an in­ter­view with the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent yes­ter­day, Mr Juncker in­sisted his tax har­mon­i­sa­tion plans were not “anti-Ir­ish”. He also de­fended his pro­posal to in­tro­duce new EU vot­ing rules that would strip smaller coun­tries of the right to block changes to tax poli­cies.

At a meet­ing of EU fi­nance min­is­ters in Es­to­nia yes­ter­day, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Paschal Dono­hoe said Ire­land has been at the fore­front of in­ter­na­tional cor­po­rate tax re­form and in­sisted the Gov­ern­ment would not sup­port any­thing that threat­ens our tax sys­tem or Ir­ish jobs.

Af­ter the meet­ing, Mr Dono­hoe said Ire­land has made “strong progress” on en­sur­ing “com­pa­nies are fairly taxed”.

“Ire­land will not be sup­port­ing any mea­sures or pro­pos­als that un­der­mine the very com­pet­i­tive and trans­par­ent cor­po­rate tax code we have in Ire­land,” he added.

Mean­while, Fianna Fail fi­nance spokesman Michael McGrath urged the Gov­ern­ment to re­ject plans by French Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bruno Le Maire to tax in­ter­net com­pa­nies based on turnover rather than prof­its.

Mr McGrath said Ire­land would be the “sin­gle big­gest loser” if the French pro­posal was ac­cepted and said it is “no co­in­ci­dence” that big­ger coun­tries are sup­port­ing it.

“Any pro­posal that in­volves dis­tribut­ing turnover across mem­ber states for tax­a­tion pur­poses will inevitably re­sult in the larger mem­ber states do­ing bet­ter, with small mem­ber states, like Ire­land, los­ing out,” Mr McGrath said.

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