EU Parliamentary candidate Peter Casey says Europe must “keep its hands off” Irish taxation sovereignty to ensure rural Ireland can compete for investment and jobs.
Speaking ahead of Ibec’s European Election debate in the Clayton Hotel in Galway on Wednesday, Mr Casey said he will provide a strong voice for Midlands-North West in the defence of Ireland’s right to determine its own taxation rates.
“Ireland’s lower rate of corporation tax has played a big role in driving inward investment. Our 12.5% rate has given us a competitive edge that has been vital in job creation by multi-nationals in towns and cities across Ireland.
“After Hungary, Ireland has the lowest corporation tax rate in Europe and this has allowed many towns in rural Ireland to compete with much bigger economies for large-scale international investment. We need only look around at the global pharma, medtech and digital players based in Ireland.
“The EU Commission has been targeting Ireland’s taxation sovereignty for some time. As your MEP, I will stand up for Ireland’s right to determine our own tax rates because retaining that power is so important to our prosperity.
“In Northern Ireland there is a strong lobby for a reduction in corporation tax. Southern counties would be in an extremely weakened position should that happen while a higher rate is imposed in the Republic by Europe.
“The Commission has proposed that by 2025 a system of qualified majority voting replaces the current requirement for unanimity around corporation tax policy within the union. That would mean a major shift in decision making on corporation tax which would be very bad news for our economy in terms of jobs, investment and taxation revenue.”
Mr Casey said he will also work to ensure Ireland does not lose out in taxation revenues as a result of the EU-proposed digital services tax.
“Ireland stands to lose more than €150m annually if the EU forges ahead with new digital sales tax plans. This will also dilute the power of our 12.5pc corporation tax rate to attract new foreign direct investment, meaning less jobs for rural Ireland’s urban centres.
“With her eye firmly fixed on the next Presidency of the European Commission, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says ‘France is showing the way’ on this taxation shift. I say France is showing the way for its own ends – not Ireland’s. We must fight to ensure Ireland does not lose out as we are home to some of the world’s biggest digital operators. Digital taxation presents a big challenge and it certainly needs to be addressed, but Ireland’s national interests must be central to any decision making.”
Ibec’s European Election for the Midlands-North-West constituency will take place at 4pm pm on Wednesday, May 8 in the Clayton Hotel, Galway.