Quinn: Corporation tax will not become an issue again16/05/2012 - 11:02:59
Education Minister Ruairí Quinn has dismissed suggestions that the new French President will once again seek to tackle Ireland on its low corporation tax rate.
One of Francois Hollande's new advisors warned this morning that the harmonisation of corporate tax rates across the eurozone would be on his agenda.
Predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy previously put pressure on Ireland to raise its corporation tax rate of 12.5%.
Minister Quinn is however confident the issue won't come up again.
"No it won't be raised," he said, adding that the raising of the issue by former President Sarkozy had been "aimed at the domestic market", and that the government had demonstrated that "designer taxes" in Europe meant that in some cases corporations were paying less than the 12.5% Irish rate.
"We were able to show that effect of the corporate tax regime for some companies in some parts of France was lower than ours," he added.
However Philippe Aghion, a Harvard professor and advisor to Msr Hollande, believes the new French president will push for some harmonisation of corporate tax.
He however acknowledged that it remains to be seen what progress he would be able to make on the issue.
"Well I think he (Msr Hollande) will push in that direction too," Msr Aghion said.
"Now I don't know how far he will get there… member states are very jealous of their sovereignty in that matter.
"He will try to push against discount competition in favour of fiscal harmonisation."
Meanwhile Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that some of the policies put forward by the new French president would not be in the best interests of Ireland.
Msr Hollande met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday to outline his plans for growth in Europe.
Speaking at a Bloomberg event in Dublin, Mr Kenny said any changes to the country's tax regime would not be in Ireland's interests.
"Ireland will support a growth agenda," he said.
"Ireland will support a development agenda.
"But there are clearly other issues in there with which we don't agree.
"Changes in the corporation tax rate and localised financial transaction taxes are not in the interests of this country."