IDA: Housing crisis and Trump move on US corporation tax having no impact on FDI

By Gordon Deegan

The chief executive of the IDA has said that the high cost of housing in the capital is not impacting on the flow of overseas investment into Dublin.

In an interview at a Shannon Chamber of Commerce event in Dromoland, in Co Clare, at the weekend, Martin Shanahan also said that US president Donald Trump’s corporate tax cut in the US is having no impact on the pipeline of investments by US firms into Ireland.

Mr Shanahan also said that the higher marginal rate of income tax for top earners “is not as significant a barrier” to foreign direct investment (FDI) here, when everything is taken into account, and “is not an issue that comes up significantly” with foreign investors.

“Albeit, I think foreign investors would look at the higher marginal rate and compare it to other jurisdictions and note that it is higher in some other jurisdictions we are competing with,” Mr Shanahan said.

The IDA is on course for a very strong year, in terms of jobs growth, and Mr Shanahan said that the high cost and/or shortage of housing is not having an impact on overseas firms investing in Dublin.

“The evidence would suggest that ‘no’ — investment has increased and remains strong. The most recent figures for the first half of this year show that investments grew and grew in Dublin.”

On the high costs of residential property in Dublin, as it affects workers, Mr Shanahan said: “I consider everything in an international context and if you consider other jurisdictions, many of them are facing exactly the same type of issues that we are facing here”.

He said overseas investors view the housing shortage here “as a short-term issue, where they are planning for the long term.”

Martin Shanahan

On US tax changes, Mr Shanahan said: “I don’t believe we will lose any existing investment because of the alterations to the US tax regime...but I am not ruling out the fact that there could be investment that has stayed in the US rather than internationalised.”

He said Apple’s plans to scrap its €850m data centre in Athenry, due to planning and legal delays, was “immensely regretful”, but that steps have been taken to try to streamline the planning process.

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