18 MAR 2011
By Arthur Beesley | Irish Times
MINISTER FOR Agriculture Simon Coveney said any increase in the corporate tax rate would be akin to “economic suicide” for Ireland and said the Government will not be bullied on the issue by France and Germany.
Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton described Germany’s demand that Ireland raise its corporate tax rate as understandable but “misguided”.
As Dublin hardened its rhetoric on the tax rate controversy, it emerged that Luxembourg’s prime minister was backing Ireland’s position.
Jean-Claude Juncker, who also chairs the euro group of finance ministers, criticised the link between a lower interest rate on bailout loans and pressure to increase corporate tax.
“Not as chairman of the euro group, but as Luxembourg prime minister, I don’t like this link between the corporate tax issue and the so-called Irish package,” he said on Tuesday in previously unreported remarks.
“I’m not happy with the idea that some governments obviously find some pleasure in torturing Ireland in the meetings and outside. I don’t like this way of dealing with serious problems.”
Mr Coveney, who was in Brussels yesterday for his first meeting with his fellow EU ministers, said the focus on Ireland’s tax regime was overblown.
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Kenny is right to dig in his heels on corporation tax