By Shona Murray, in Washington D.C.
The Taoiseach has rigorously defended Ireland’s reputation as a low tax economy saying that Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has gotten rid of the ‘stateless’ company concept that caused Ireland “reputational damage”.
Enda Kenny was speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce in D.C. today as part of a 6-day long official visit for St. Patrick’s Day.
Mr Kenny acknowledged that Ireland’s low corporate tax rate has been a “cornerstone” of Ireland’s offering and that it has been the subject of “some debate” in the US Senate and on Capitol Hill.
“I want to make it clear Ireland does not comply with any of the 4 criteria for tax haven status” he stated, “our rate is consistent and across the board for all sectors”.
“We are fully participating with the OECD in the 15 different sectors that are out there where this requires an international response to an international phenomenon”
The Taoiseach also pointed out that the process of drafting legislation is “much slower than the digital world moves” and said such changes need a “real accountable and transparent answer internationally”.
Mr Kenny then assured the group of 100 business people that Ireland would “participate fully” in any such efforts to govern multi-national corporations, saying that the Irish government has been “very forthright” with its “American colleagues on it”.