Michael Noonan not feeling EU pressure over corporation tax

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister doesn't see Fianna Fáil blocking his Budget 2017...

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has dismissed suggestions Ireland's corporation tax rate of 12.5% could be under threat. His comments come following the European Commission's ruling on Apple's Irish tax affairs, which he had considered to be a European "attack on our corporate tax regime".

Noonan said of the famous 12.5% rate this morning:

"It is part of the Irish offering now for years. We could nearly put it on the flag now because everybody knows internationally that the rate is 12.5%. Actually when industrialists think of Ireland, they automatically think of 12.5%. But just in case there's doubt, I'll confirm it again in this year's budget."

The minister was speaking in his home county of Limerick, as US firm WP Engine announced the creation of 100 online tech jobs.

"We're under no pressure," he argued. "The European Commission acknowledge the right to set tax rates is a matter for sovereign competence of Europe or the European Commission, so there's no pressure on us."

Noonan also stated his belief that next month's budget would pass with Fianna Fáil's support.

When asked if he was worried about the prospect of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin turning up on his doorstep the night before to tell him Budget 2017 would not pass, he responded:

"There's no signs of that... but you better ask Micheál Martin that. I don't think he know where I live so he'll have difficulty knocking on the door."