MINISTER RICHARD Bruton is heading to the west coast of the US for a week-long trade visit aimed at securing new or further investment for Ireland.
The minister’s trip will centre on telling US investors that Ireland “is open for business”, according to a statement issued by his department today. He says he will also emphasise that what makes Ireland an “attractive location for US investment will remain unchanged” – including the low corporate tax rate.
Minister Bruton said he would be focusing on the IT, gaming and biotech sectors in particular as “this is crucial to our export-led recovery and economic success”.
Although other EU countries cannot force Ireland to change its low corporate tax rate, some eurozone countries, notably France, have been putting pressure on Ireland to change the rate. Asked in the Dail if Ireland’s support for France’s candidate to become the next IMF chief was dependent on Ireland holding on to its current corporate tax rate, Noonan said the two issues were completely separate. He added that the Irish government’s position on maintaining the 12.5 per cent tax rate had not changed.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has criticised the pressure on Ireland to change that tax rate as “unfair”.