Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Probably the singularly most quoted explanation for Ireland's recent economic boom (RIP 2008) is our low Corporation Tax rate.

Even suggesting looking at it and the fundamentalists are down your throat, dare mention that it might be a little low or that driving down the rate doesn't actual result in any increased productivity. The gospel of low corporation tax masked and stifled debate on changes that were desperately needed in the economy such as reducing the dependence on transactional and consumption taxes.

This over dependence and the lack of any public discussion on the wisdom of fueling our economy and paying for public services from stamp duties and VAT lead the government to sail cluelessly into the disaster we are now stuck in.

The "perfect storm" that is our economy has another gale heading its way. Flagged in his election campaign its been announced by PUSA Obama that loopholes that allow US companies to post profits in low corporation tax territories, e.g Ireland, are to be closed. The White House yesterday mentioned only three countries, Holland, Bermuda and Ireland as examples of where US multinationals post massive profits from.

The incentive therefore for US companies to locate and base themselves in Ireland will be significantly reduced.

Obama reckons he can save the US nearly €200 billion in tax forgone and provide employment in the US.

Maybe Fianna Fáil could send the cabinet clown Willie O'Dea to the US to convince him otherwise, after all Willie has form with the Americans given the great job he did when he visited Micheal Dell and made the case for the Dell facility in Limerick.

Oh maybe not - that closed.

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