Following the publication of a Westminster bill to devolve corporation tax to Northern Ireland by 2017, Brian Hayes MEP today (Friday) said that Ireland should have nothing to fear if Northern Ireland reduces its corporation tax rate.
“A closer corporation tax rate between North and South would in fact make Ireland as an island a more attractive destination for international businesses. It would allow the island to build capacity for many sectors such as pharmaceuticals and technology and would open up more cross-border trading activity,” said Mr. Hayes.
“The UK Government has acted swiftly on this issue and I hope the UK Labour Party can voice its support for the bill in the run up to the 2015 UK General Election. Devolution of corporation tax powers to Northern Ireland is a positive economic stimulus for the North and it could be a cross-party initiative in the UK,” added Mr. Hayes.
“Clearly, Northern Ireland may want to keep certain links with the UK system but there is no reason why it cannot become more competitive with the South.”
“Ireland has one of the most transparent and simple corporation tax regime in the world and in fact our broad-based system could be considered a role model for others,” added Mr. Hayes.
“We are constantly fighting off criticism of our 12.5% corporate tax rate by larger EU Member States, but we must not be ashamed to defend our rate as well as our reputable system. It is about time that Germany and France recognise that the EU Treaties make it clear that corporation tax is a competence for Member States to decide. The European Commission should not be pressured into making proposals at the behest of larger Member States,” concluded Mr. Hayes.